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Two-try Olding thrilled to give Irish boss Schmidt food for thought

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Diving over: Declan Fitzpatrick crosses the line for a try in the closing moments of the game at the Kingspan

Diving over: Declan Fitzpatrick crosses the line for a try in the closing moments of the game at the Kingspan

Diving over: Declan Fitzpatrick crosses the line for a try in the closing moments of the game at the Kingspan

There wasn't a great deal that could be said after a hardly inspiring yet much welcomed result.

Sure, Ulster had toiled hard in the conditions for their four points but the reality was that five had been on offer and really should have been taken against an injury-blighted Welsh side who still have a mere one win to their name after seven league games.

Indeed, with the game reaching its conclusion, Ulster had any number of moments when they could have scored tries only for replacement Declan Fitzpatrick to charge through in the game's last play.

It was hard not to reflect on that missed opportunity for maximum points but man of the match Stuart Olding, who scored two tries, expressed himself more than contented to get the game-time and a more than useful run-out at full-back after being released from Ireland camp by Joe Schmidt who will have been impressed by what he saw from the 21-year-old.

"I enjoyed the game and I thought we played the conditions well but in the second half we weren't clinical enough," Olding said.

His first try - in the 29th minute - had seen him burst through from a Darren Cave pass and beat three defenders while the second - in the 47th - had come off a deft flick from Stuart McCloskey with Olding diving in at the corner.

It took quite a number of replays before the TMO gave the green light though Olding admitted that he was pretty sure he had got the touchdown anyway.

"They took a while (the decision over the second try) but I thought we created the chance very well and I was happy to be on the end of it," he said.

"I'm looking for as much game-time as possible and I'm happy to play anywhere," added the versatile player who is now back with the national squad in Co Kildare ahead of Saturday's opening autumn Test with South Africa.

"It's a big honour to be involved in the (Ireland) squad. Everything is very precise and you need to know your stuff down there," he added.

Meanwhile, coach Neil Doak was determined to focus on the fact that the victory had been secured and that this fact was essential in discussing what had taken place.

"If we had been a bit more accurate in the second half we might have come out with five (points) but we're happy to get the win," he said.

"It was good to get the game to bed and get the four points.

"It was good to get the win on the back of two difficult European games," Doak stated over the highly damaging two straight reverses which Ulster had shipped over the previous weekends.

The coach also rightly chose to point out that Ulster have now gone three PRO12 games without conceding a try, an achievement which has secured them the league's best defensive record with only six touchdowns conceded in seven games.

"This is the third league game we haven't conceded so from that point of view it's very pleasing and it keeps us there or there abouts," he added referring to Ulster still being third in the table, one behind Glasgow and four off leaders Ospreys who are up next on at the Kingspan on November 21.

"The first half was very good," Doak said and Ulster had looked in a good place to push on from leading 11-3 thanks to Olding's first try and two penalties from Paddy Jackson.

"The tempo was good in the conditions but we just didn't have the accuracy in the second half to really finish things off. The conditions were difficult but it's disappointing to create opportunities and not take them," Doak added.

True, but then things could have been far worse had they somehow tripped up.

Belfast Telegraph