Ulster came away from Munster with two bonus points after they were edged out 32-28 in a nine-try thriller at Thomond Park last night.
The hosts crossed the whitewash five times but a brace from Craig Gilroy, and scores from Nick Williams and Dan Tuohy, ensured both a try-scoring and losing bonus point from a game that the visitors could have snatched in the final seconds.
A stolen line-out and a strong defensive stand from Anthony Foley’s men protected their win at the death but his counterpart Neil Doak’s side played with an attacking style that bodes well moving into a crucial run.
The head coach was however disappointed to see his side ship more tries last night than in their previous five games combined.
“Look, obviously you want to be as tight as you can,” he said.
“Unfortunately a couple of things defensively didn’t work for us.
“We leaked four tries in five games but we’ve doubled that tonight,” Doak added.
“We need to look at that as a collective.
“Les (Kiss) will come in with a wealth of experience in that side of the game, as well as on the other side of the ball, and it will be an exciting time for Ulster Rugby.
“We try to play a reasonable brand of rugby, the last couple of weeks that hasn’t materialised away from home.
“Tonight it has and we talked all week about keeping at it and we did that. We made good decisions to go with that ambition in the contact points.
“We had tempo, we got in for a couple of good scores, but we backed that up with what I like to think are simple scores for the forwards. There’s just other areas that we need to tighten up.”
Ahead of another pair of away fixtures, against Dragons in the league and then Oyonnax in Europe, Doak expects Ulster to build on the positives from the defeat.
“This run, three in a row away from home, on the back of what our form had been, we were unlucky.
“Credit to the players though, we talked about attitude and putting Munster under pressure and we did that.”
Despite defensive lapses, Doak was happy to be part of what was a great advert for the league.
He said: “It’s great for the competition and great for the league. Hopefully that brings a bigger audience. We’ve seen the competition already and with the World Cup guys coming back it’s only going to get better.”