United Rugby Championship: Ulster boss Dan McFarland has belief his side will return to form

Dylan Coetzee
Ulster's Dan McFarland looks on before a game.

Ulster head coach Dan McFarland is hoping to stop this “snowball” of bad momentum his side is currently in after a series of poor results.

McFarland’s men have lost four of their last five games and face a tricky period where they face Sale and then the Sharks after this weekend’s clash with Benetton.

Tricky period

The coach understands the criticism but backs his team to get out of their rut and underline how good a side they are, as they have done in recent seasons.

“We don’t want to muddy the waters, it’s about getting better at rugby,” said McFarland.

“We understand the difficult spell we’ve been in, but we understand what a quality team we are, and we’ve demonstrated that over three or four years.

“There’s bound to be criticism. We’re here doing our job and working very hard at it. There is context to the situation we’re in. Sometimes things trickle and bump, and bad momentum can snowball, and that can be kicked off by a shocking second half by us against Leinster.

“That’s like a punch in the face, and you come into the next week and got the situation with the travel to Sale, and you’re playing a team that just put 40 points on the English champions.”

Stick to processes

McFarland used a golf analogy to describe how important it is for his Ulster side to stick to their processes and find their rhythm again.

“We’ve had ups and downs in the past over the last four years,” he stated.

“If you believe in what you’re doing and you believe in what you’ve got, then you weather through those; you work through them in the same way a pro golfer suddenly finds he’s hitting a slice. He focuses on his process, and it will come back because he focuses on the details and improves every day.

“The natural follow on from the process is understanding that we have players who are really good, and some of them may not be playing as well as they want to; some of the aspects of the systems might not be working as well as we want, so we’ve got to trust in those. There’ll be some changes this weekend, but there’s no baby in bath water being thrown out here.”

Despite Ulster’s poor form, the side still remains in a good place on the United Rugby Championship table in third spot, below Leinster and the Stormers after 10 matches.

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