Belfast Telegraph

Struggling Ulster have got to be harder on themselves, insists Reidy

 

By Jonathan Bradley

With mistakes still mounting, Ulster flanker Sean Reidy believes the squad require an adjustment in mindset.

The twice-capped Irish international was part of the sides beaten by both Connacht and Leinster in the recent inter-pros, and admitted that it's time Les Kiss' men started to show they are learning from their setbacks.

Carelessness with the ball has been a characteristic of their last three games but, despite the problem being identified and spoken about in the aftermath of the come-from-behind win over Munster, it was once again on show in the RDS last Saturday.

"It really hurts, and the boys are feeling it," said Reidy. "I said if we were not accurate with the ball we'd pay and Leinster made us pay.

"I think it is a mindset thing. We have to be harder on ourselves when carrying the ball.

"At half-time, I thought we were in it. There was a strong wind and I thought we could come away with it. I was feeling very comfortable in defence during that first half, I didn't think they were throwing anything that we couldn't handle.

"I was quite excited about that second half. There were two or three times when we were hot on attack but then a little knock on or a dropped pass and we were paying for it.

"It was in the 22s where we let it slip a little bit, and then you put your head up from a ruck and the next minute they are scoring down the other end. That is really unacceptable."

Ulster are today back preparing for what could be the defining game of their Champions Cup campaign.

Making a return to the knock-out stages of European rugby for the first time since 2014 would appease some, but the side already witnessed the strength of La Rochelle first-hand in October when the French high-fliers came out 41-17 winners at the Stade Marcel Deflandre.

"You can't stay down too long or it will eat away at you," said Reidy. "Especially as a player, if you let it get on top of you, you'll be no good.

"I thought La Rochelle had weaknesses when we went away and it seems when they travel they have the odd slip-up. They are human. They have got some class but we'll try to take them."

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