ULSTER COACH MARK ANSCOMBE praised the efforts of lesser lights Jared Payne, Nick Williams and Sean Doyle after his side clinched a 20-19 win over Munster at Ravenhill.
The New Zealander continues his perfect start to life at the province and his team have now beaten three of last season’s Pro 12 top four.
“You’ve got to be satisfied when you beat a side like Munster,” said Anscombe. He added:
We know there is a lot of work to be done but you’ve got to enjoy it when you beat a top class side.
“If you can’t enjoy it, you shouldn’t be in the game.”
Anscombe admitted that there was ‘not a moment’ in the game when he was not worried and he was quick to pay credit to some of the players that got him there.
Williams, a spilled pass aside, put in a great display against his former side while Doyle’s shift at openside drew reams of praise from the coach.
Speaking about man-of-the-match and try-scorer Payne, Anscombe commented, “Jared is fustrated because he hasn’t got the speed (that was lost after his Achilles injury) but that’s going to come.
“Every outing that he has had so far, with pre-season and three league games, he’s got better and better.”
Wrong side of the ledger
“I’m really proud of our boys. I thought they worked their hearts out. We didn’t play perfect rugby by any means but you can’t fault the endeavour.
“Obviously, in a tight match the results can go either way and it wasn’t on our side of the ledger today.”
Penney paid credit to Ulster for generating some line speed in defence and snuffing out the threat of a late Ronan O’Gara drop goal attempt that could have swung the tie their way.
The former Canterbury coach said he was never comfortable with the size of his team’s lead as ‘nine points can be absorbed pretty easily these days’. He added that he was “rapt” with the effort of his team, especially when they were reduced to 14 men midway through the second half.
Penney conceded that the graft needed to keep Ulster out during that period had perhaps led to his team running out of fuel in the closing stages.
He paid credit to the victors and dismissed concerns that the Munster scrum was struggling at scrum time.
“There are things that you can only learn on the footie track,” concluded Penney.
“We’ve got some young men and they are learning quickly.”