Belfast Telegraph

Dan McFarland: Glasgow defeat isn't good enough

 

Dan McFarland
Dan McFarland
Jonathan Bradley

By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster have put the pressure on themselves in the PRO14 play-off race after taking nothing from their trip to Glasgow last night.

The northern province are still second in Conference B and on course to host a knockout game at Kingspan Stadium, but they will be looking for results elsewhere to go their way after a 30-7 defeat in Scotstoun.

Ulster took the lead but shipped 30 unanswered points and head coach Dan McFarland has warned his side must get back to the standards they showed against Leinster in the Champions Cup last week if they are to secure their play-off place.

"Glasgow are a very strong side and they're going to be in that Championship mix at the end of the season," he said.

"That's somewhere we aspire to be. At this stage, we're going to have to improve."

McFarland added: "We need to finish off and be more accurate in attack. We weren't at the level we were last week, and that's understandable to an extent.

"But we're now in a position where we have to be or else we're not going to qualify."

Ulster's undoing came in the set-piece, where their lineout was targeted and scrum penalised, and McFarland was disappointed to see his side so well beaten in the forward battle.

"We're really disappointed," he added

"We haven't played anywhere near our potential.

"We started well, played some good rugby and allowed them to kick a long way up the field and score a few tries off the back of that. We needed to hold onto the ball and we didn't.

"We were second best at the set-piece which makes it tough to hang onto the ball."

Ulster will be back in Scotland next weekend, facing fourth-placed Edinburgh on Friday night in what could be the key game of their PRO14 campaign.

"That's a huge game," McFarland added.

"Edinburgh are obviously in our conference.

"We're pretty banged up and bruised but we have to regroup, review and move forward."

Meanwhile, Max Deegan will start at number seven for Leinster in tonight's Pro14 clash against Benetton.

With Dan Leavy's devastating injury coming hot on the heels of Josh van der Flier's season being destroyed by a torn groin, Deegan will step in.

Barry Daly comes in at full back with Fergus McFadden on the right wing and James Lowe on the left. Joe Tomane is partnered in the centre by Mullingar man Conor O'Brien, with captain Luke McGrath and Noel Reid the half backs.

In the pack Jack McGrath, James Tracy and Andrew Porter start in the front row with Mick Kearney and Scott Fardy in the second row.

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