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McLaughlin regrets missed chances for Ulster

Guinness PRO12 Editor

20 May 2012

Ulster head coach Brian McLaughlin was left to rue what might have been after his side came unstuck against an inspired Leinster side in Saturday’s Heieneken Cup final.

McLaughlin’s last game in charge of the Ulstermen did not have the fairytale ending many had hoped for as their RaboDirect PRO12 rivals proved too much to handle, running out 42-14 victors in the end.

First-half scores from Sean O’Brien and Cian Healy had Ulster on the backfoot from the off and while they did their best to mount a challenge after the break the damage was already done.

And McLaughlin admitted that the better side had won on the day.

"The two tries were extremely disappointing," he said. "We fought back but Leinster showed what a quality side they are."

"I wouldn't do anything differently at all. We knew it was always going to be difficult. We felt that for this game and for the semi-final that Paddy Jackson was the man we needed in there at fly-half. I wouldn't change that at all.

"We came here with great hope. We knew we were up against a quality side and that we had to take every chance that was going.

"But we turned over two scrums and we had a couple of opportunities in the first half when we turned over the ball in their 22. At this level, you can't afford to do that."