Tuesday 22 May 2018

Les Kiss keeps his Ulster players grounded after impressive humbling of Toulouse

Ulster's Andrew Trimble, left, scores his side's second try
Ulster's Andrew Trimble, left, scores his side's second try

Ulster coach Les Kiss warned his side of the potential backlash awaiting them in France next weekend after Friday's 38-0 win over Toulouse at the Kingspan Stadium brought them back from the brink in the European Champions Cup.

Tries from Nick Williams, Andrew Trimble, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey and Chris Henry humbled Toulouse, who also had two players sin-binned to Ulster's one and Kiss said: "Our boys were brilliant to keep them to nil.

"But we know that next week is going to be a different story so we have to be geared up for that. We must make sure we're ready for a massive backlash."

"We hurt them and they will be wounded and will come out fighting."

After four high profile injuries last week, Kiss also praised his side for dealing with adversity in the ideal manner by keeping the four-times European champions to nil for the first time in the competition, while seeing his own team climb from the bottom of Pool One up to second.

He continued: "The character that was shown last week (with the injuries striking in the Guinness PRO12 game with Edinburgh, which Ulster won) was shown again this week.

"We knew this performance was there sitting on the edges and it was great to see them back themselves the way they did.

"We got ascendancy through our relentless patience and our defence to just squeeze the life out of the freedom that they wanted to enjoy.

"For us to put pressure on the pool we had to do that," said Kiss while admitting that leaders Saracens (who beat Ulster with a bonus point in their opening game also at the Kingspan) are still in a strong-looking position.

"It's important we get some points out of it next week," he then added of the return game.

"For us we can pat ourselves on the back then miss the boat next weekend.

"We know they'll come back at us and what it will take to win over there where they have a great home record.

"So we need to be in a good place to go there and make this matter."

Toulouse head coach Ugo Mola praised Ulster's performance but was disappointed at how poorly his side had played.

"My frustration? It's important to keep that for next week and try to work more.

"We must remember this experience. They dominated us physically and technically and at the set-piece. I think we had a big lesson."

Press Association

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