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Head coach McFarland offers up no excuses for error-strewn Ulster performance in defeat to Leinster


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Turning point: Ulster’s John Cooney scores a try that was later disallowed due to an offside

Turning point: Ulster’s John Cooney scores a try that was later disallowed due to an offside

�INPHO/Billy Stickland

Jordi Murphy receives treatment

Jordi Murphy receives treatment

�INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Leinster’s Harry Byrne crosses the line

Leinster’s Harry Byrne crosses the line

�INPHO/James Crombie

Turning point: Ulster’s John Cooney scores a try that was later disallowed due to an offside

If Ulster lost against Connacht when sat on the sofa, then there must have been times against Leinster on Saturday night that they wished they'd gone back and looked under the cushions for whatever it was they left behind.

This is a better than decent rugby team - their body of work over the past two years, if not the past two weeks, confirms the fact - yet just one week out from the PRO14 semi-finals and the most important game of their season, they have all of a sudden developed a propensity for the most basic of errors.

Or at least, as sudden as a six-month lay-off allows. After such a lengthy break, a degree of rust was to be expected, hardly helped by missing training this week thanks to the outbreak of Covid-19 in their Academy, yet there will still be a concern at how they have been afflicted so much more severely than their Irish rivals.