Europe's still alive for 'no frills' Ulster
Brian McLaughlin praised Ulster's "no frills" performance in the 21-13 Heineken Cup defeat of Edinburgh at Ravenhill tonight.
Issac Boss and Darren Cave scored tries and Ian Humphreys kicked eight points, with Niall O'Connor adding a penalty as Ulster edged the Pool Four encounter to keep their slim quarter-final hopes alive.
Edinburgh replied with a Jim Thompson try and eight points from the boot of Chris Paterson.
With Stade Francais expected to top the group with two matches remaining, Ulster now are in pole position for at least a place in the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-finals. After the win in atrocious conditions, McLaughlin is now targeting an away win at Bath in the final round of preliminary matches as his side bid to take advantage of any slip up by Stade.
"We closed the game out, we were very dogged with no frills to our performance and we just got stuck in," said McLaughlin.
"At the end we got in their half and stayed there. We wanted to be in a position to be going to Bath with something major at stake. "We must front up, go across and get that elusive win."
McLaughlin also made special mention of man of the match Boss, who was winning his 100th Ulster cap and helped create Cave's first half try before scoring one himself in the second half.
"He's (Boss) always in there at the coalface," the Ulster coach said. "He was outstanding with the ball and without it but this was a great team effort."
Edinburgh coach Rob Moffat was disappointed at not even managing a losing bonus point, but praised Ulster's display.
"Ulster controlled the game really well in the first 15-20 minutes and I thought that was crucial to winning the game," said Moffat. "I think Ulster played the conditions really well in the first half and I thought that we could win the second half if we got decent go forward momentum."
With little now to play for, Moffat dismissed any notion that Edinburgh would not be at their most focused for next weekend's final pool game when Stade Francais arrive at Murrayfield.
"Sorry, that's not the case for us we have plenty to play for," he added. "We want to finish Europe on a high not a low."