It wasn't pretty - Anscombe

19th Jan 2013, 16:46

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Gritty win: Ulster

Gritty win: Ulster

Ulster head coach Mark Anscombe hailed his side's spirit after they recorded their first ever victory in France with a 9-8 defeat of Castres.

Ulster coach Mark Anscombe hailed his side's spirit after they recorded their first ever victory in France with a 9-8 defeat of Castres on Saturday.

It was Ulster's fifteenth attempt to win on French soil and they did it with a bruising physical performance at the Stade Pierre-Antoine.

Three Ruan Pienaar penalties proved to be enough for Ulster to edge the Top 14 side, who had led the Pool match for long periods.

"It wasn't pretty. They don't make it easy for you but the character of the guys saw us through in the end," said Anscombe.

"I said at half-time that if we get the ball and play some rugby, work on that and be patient, opportunities would come.

"We couldn't come here and expect to score four tries, but there were opportunities and holes in Castres. We just needed to take a bit more care with the ball.

"The character has been the hallmark of the side for the entire season so far, and we showed the strength of our character in the second half today.

"It was good to tick that box and get that first win in France in the Heineken Cup."