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McLaughlin lauds defence as Ulster down Edinburgh

Guinness PRO12 Editor

7 Jan 2012

Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin lauded his defence after their bonus-point 42-20 victory at Edinburgh kept them in the RaboDirect PRO12 play-off mix.

Rory Best, Johann Muller, Andrew Trimble and Darren Cave all crossed the whitewash as the Irish province blew away the Gunners either side of half time.

The Ulstermen, who saw off rivals Munster 33-17 last Friday, made it two RaboDirect PRO12 wins on the spin and despite conceding two tries to Scotland international Nick De Luca and Alun Walker, McLaughlin was encouraged to see such defensive cohesiveness.

And with a crucial Heineken Cup clash with Leicester Tigers next up for Ulster, McLaughlin was delighted to see his troops firing.

He said: “Our defence was outstanding – this was one of our best defensive performances all so season, we can take a lot of confidence from that.

“This evening was very important in the context of the PRO12 and keeping ourselves in mix for place in the knockout stages come the end of the season.

“It was also important in view of next week’s match to get everyone back together after an unsettled period over Christmas.

“The last 10 minutes of the first half and the first few minutes of the second half really set us up well for the win and allowed us to put ourselves in the position to push on and get the bonus point, all credit to the lads.

“Confidence levels are high and we’ll take that into next week although we’re under no illusions, we know what a tough game Leicester is going to be and we will need to do not just the same, but better next week.

“We’ve had our problems here at Murrayfield in the past and yes, this evening we were a little inconsistent at times but all in all it was an excellent victory for us.”