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'Mission accomplished' but Anscombe demands improvement

Ulster won their Pro12 semi-final with a ruthless dismissal of a hapless Scarlets side but then immediately insisted that a repeat performance would not be good enough to win the final.

A three-try spree in 16 minutes either side of half-time secured the victory but Ulster fell into sloppy habits in the final quarter to allow their opponents to strike back.

"We went to sleep for the last 20 minutes and that will put a bad taste in our mouths," said hooker Rory Best. "But we played a good 50 or 60 minutes of great rugby and that will stand to us for the final.

"At the start of the season, we got together as a group and said that we wanted to win silverware, and this is our last crack of it. We felt at the start of the season we were good enough to win something.

"We wanted to win everything but we're in one final and we'll go to win that now."

Coach Mark Anscombe echoed Best's caution, despite last night's scoreline.

"Mission accomplished, we're in the final and that's special," said the Kiwi. "We're not happy with the last 20 minutes. We should have finished them off. For 50 minutes we totally controlled that game and then we loosened off.

"And that took the gloss off things.The first 50 minutes were good: we took our opportunities and our forwards were dominant."

World Cup-winning prop John Afoa is likely to be fit to play in the final, where Ulster's status as regular season table-toppers has earned them the right to be nominated them as the home team.

"We knew that the final wasn't going to be in Ravenhill because of the ground redevelopment," added Anscombe. "We've earned the rights to be No 1 seed and we'll take that confidence to Dublin, especially after getting the monkey off our backs winning down there against Leinster for the first time in 14 years."

Scarlets coach Simon Easterby was unhappy with Irish referee Alain Rolland, but also felt his side were outplayed at the breakdown.

"We conceded nine penalties to three in the first half and conceded 15 turnovers to three and that killed us," admitted the former Ireland back-row.

"The injuries didn't help but there were a few calls that went against us. How the video referee can give the third try when to me it seemed short of the line is a bit strange.

"I think Ulster have a great chance of winning the final, especially if they get the rub of the green from the referee.

"I'm sure they'll be delighted if Alain Rolland is refereeing the final."

Irish Independent