McLaughlin proud of Ulster effort

by JP Lonergan , 22 January 2012

Brian McLaughlin was brimming with pride after his Ulster side almost ended Clermont Auvergne’s long-unbeaten home record on Saturday.

In the end Ulster went down 19-15 in Heineken Cup Pool 4, however both sides will play in the quarter-finals. Ulster, as a result of Saturday’s defeat, will be in the bottom half of the draw and play their quarter-final away from Ravenhill, but that has done nothing to take from the pride of their coach.

"We came here wanting to get a home quarter-final for our fans and I think that's why we're exceptionally disappointed because we felt in the first half we maybe had a couple of opportunities,” McLaughlin said after the defeat.

"We missed a couple of penalties - difficult as they were - but we had a couple of try-scoring opportunities which we left out there.

"When you're playing in a competition like this - exciting as it is and a brilliant competition - you just can't afford to do that."

As for the knockout stages, he added: "Now what we've got to do, no matter where we go in the last eight, we've got to turn in another performance. But it's got to better again because we are more than capable of going further in this competition."

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