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Dan McFarland praises Peel's plan as "hard-working" Ulster secure bonus point win over Munster

Ulster head coach Dan McFarland (INPHO/Laszlo Geczo)
Ulster head coach Dan McFarland (INPHO/Laszlo Geczo)
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

Ulster head coach Dan McFarland hailed the impact of attack coach Dwayne Peel's game plan as they ran in five tries in their bonus-point win over Munster at Kingspan Stadium.

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Having scored twice in the first half through John Cooney and Robert Baloucoune, Ulster wrapped up a 38-17 victory with tries from Matty Rea, Stuart McCloskey and Jacob Stockdale.

It was another sensational performance from the province, who are now 19 games unbeaten at home and have picked up five try bonus points from their last six games.

Ulster are now just six points behind Leinster in Conference A of the Guinness PRO14, albeit having played a game more, and continue their charge for back-to-back appearances in the play-offs.

This was another display that will have fans delighted with what they're seeing on the pitch as McFarland's men ran riot, with the 21-point gap between the two sides perhaps not even a true reflection of the performances.

That left McFarland delighted with their clinical nature in attack, reserving special praise for Peel's game plan for their interprovincial rivals and for man of the match McCloskey.

"You've got to be pleased. Munster are a quality team, (on) both sides of the ball they tested us today. Our attack was going to have to be really good to get points off them," said the head coach.

"They have the best record, in my opinion, in the PRO14 and Champions Cup defensively, so we would have to be astute in attack and sharp in what we were doing.

"Fair play, Dwayne put a really good plan together, our first try came off exactly what he'd shown the lads and explained what we needed to do, and we executed it perfectly. Our set plays I thought worked really well.

"The players out on the pitch had to do a job as well, and I thought Stu McCloskey was immense today."

The difference between that performance and the one that Ulster put in at Thomond Park earlier in the season was stark in contrast, perhaps making it even more sweeter.

In Limerick in November, Ulster were wasteful with ball in hand and had to settle for a losing bonus point in a 22-16 loss. On this occasion, they made their chances in the red zone count, and were rewarded.

"We just needed control on the game and we got that, and we displayed when we hold onto the ball in the 22 we were able to squeeze them and get the points," added a happy McFarland.

"It was tight in Thomond Park, and at 60 minutes we were in the lead. Little bit of a change, at 60 minutes we were well in front here.

"Yes, it was good to get the points, but the bottom line is we had to work really hard for it. I think they're a really good team, they defend really hard and their attacking shape is really good.

"We had to be at our best, they caused us problems."

McFarland confirmed that star scrum-half Cooney went off with an HIA in the second half but admitted he did not have the results of the test, with no other injuries reported.

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