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James Crombie/INPHO Dan McFarland (file pic).
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'We didn't look like a quarter-final team' - McFarland laments Ulster's post-lockdown form
The northern province’s season came to a disappointing end at the Stade Ernest-Wallon this afternoon.

DAN MCFARLAND MADE no excuses as Ulster were swept aside by red-hot Toulouse in Sunday’s Champions Cup quarter-final, the northern province’s season ending in a resounding 36-8 defeat at the Stade Ernest-Wallon.

McFarland’s men were second best for the majority of what transpired to be a one-sided contest, Ulster’s try — dotted down by John Cooney — merely a late consolation amid a second-half Toulouse onslaught.

Billy Burns was withdrawn after only a quarter of an hour through injury, with Michael Lowry slotting in at 10 and performing capably, but McFarland blamed neither the loss of his starting out-half nor the emotional hangover from last week’s Guinness Pro14 final defeat to Leinster, instead acknowledging that his side have been sub-par at the end of a promising season.

“We know ourselves we didn’t look like a quarter-final team today,” McFarland told BT Sport.

For whatever reason, after the break, we haven’t been playing very well and it looked like that today and we got punished and we deserved it.

Ulster’s head coach did, however, spare some praise for his pack, which held its own against its far heavier Toulousain equivalent.

The set piece held up well, too, but Ulster struggled to make meaningful inroads to build upon their forwards’ solid foundation.

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“I was really pleased with the way the forwards went up front,” McFarland said.

“We talked about their pack and for 60 minutes our scrum was really excellent and the set-piece in general worked really well.

“Hats off to the forwards but in other areas of the game we just weren’t at the races really.”

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