‘No pictures on the scorecard’ – Ulster relieved to dramatically get over the line in ‘very lucky’ win over Cardiff

Dylan Coetzee
Ulster scrum-half John Cooney.

Interim Ulster boss Richie Murphy admits his side were “very lucky” to beat Cardiff 19-17 in a dramatic finish on Friday night.

The clash had it all with Cardiff believing they had secured the win with a third Theo Cabango try but it was called back for an intentional knockdown from Rhys Carre. Veteran John Cooney stepped up to nail the winning penalty in the final moments.

Lucky finish

It was a fortuitous series of events for Ulster and Murphy was very open about how he saw the final period of the game.

“I fully believe we were very lucky to win the game,” Murphy told BBC Sport.

“It was a strange one.

“I couldn’t see a clear knock-on [from Cardiff].

“I thought the game had gone at that stage. We were probably a little bit lucky to get the win in the end.

“Looking back at the game as a whole, there are so many things that we need to do better to get into those situations at the end of a game.”

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Work ons

The breakdown area almost proved costly for Ulster, who struggled in that facet throughout the game. Murphy also picked the contact area as a weakness of their performance.

“The accuracy areas are the ones we need to be better at, in and around that contact area,” Murphy said.

“Our line-out functioned better than it has in recent weeks, but ultimately, in and around the breakdown, both attack and defence, we weren’t really good enough.

“[It’s] four points, there’s no pictures on the scorecard.

“At the end of the day, we’ve got the win and we’re moving in the right direction in the league.

“Overall, I suppose we’ll look at the game and see plenty of areas where we need drastic improvement over the next couple of days to get ready for Benetton.”

Playoff race

The win was vital for their playoff prospects as will next weekend’s clash against knockout rivals Benetton – a clash Murphy’s men will be ready to go for.

“We obviously had a lot of rotation in our squad this week through injury and general tiredness out of the group,” he said.

“With that, off a six-day turnaround it makes it difficult to get the continuity within the team.

“We’re now back into a seven-day turnaround and have Monday, Tuesday together and we’ll get more work done after two days off. We’ll be ready for Benetton.”

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