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McLaughlin refusing to give up on Ulster’s Heineken Cup hopes

Guinness PRO12 Editor

20 Nov 2011

Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin is refusing to give up hope of reaching the Heineken Cup knock-out stages after their 20-9 loss to Leicester at Welford Road.

A second-half try from Matt Smith and five penalties from fly-half Toby Flood was enough for the Tigers to see off the RaboDirect Pro12 outfit.

Ulster recorded three penalties from former Leicester fly-half Ian Humphreys but didn’t do enough to secure back-to-back Heineken Cup wins having beaten Clermont Auvergne last week.

Unbeaten Leicester now sit tip of Pool 4 with eight points with Clermont second on six and Ulster two points further back in third.

However with successive games against Aironi, who have yet to pick up a point, Ulster coach McLaughlin knows there is still plenty of rugby to be played.

“We played some fantastic rugby against Leicester and we were very disappointed that we didn’t come away with a bonus point,” said McLaughlin.

“Small things make the difference and we were not careful enough in protecting the ball – but we are far from out of this competition.”