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Ulster edge closer to top four finish

Guinness PRO12 Editor

25 Apr 2011

Ulster head coach Brian McLaughlin reckons a first appearance in the Magners League play-offs is within his side’s reach.

The Northern Ireland province were disappointed on Friday night after failing to secure a try-scoring bonus-point in their 27-16 victory over lowly Connacht at Ravenhill.

But Munster did them a major favour with their last-gasp victory over reining Champions the Ospreys to virtually end the Welsh regions’ own play-off hopes.

Ulster need just a losing bonus-point to secure their place in the top four but McLaughlin is determined to see his rejuvenated province finish the regular season with a bang by beating the Newport Gwent Dragons on May 6.

"The Munster result was certainly a help for us, though from our point of view I'd have to be a bit selfish as I wanted them to deny the Ospreys a bonus point which would then have actually been enough for us to make it," said McLaughlin in the Belfast Telegraph.

"We're close and we are now in control of our own destiny, but we still have to focus on going to the Dragons to get a win which as I've said is a hugely difficult task.

“There are still many permutations over what can still happen after the final games, but from our point of view it’s about getting that win at the Dragons and then seeing where we are.”