Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 8°C Tuesday 27 October 2020

'It's not the ideal situation to be in' - Kiss calls on his Ulster side to stand up and deliver

The northern province will depend on other results going their way next week.

Craig Gilroy dejected after the game.
Craig Gilroy dejected after the game.

LES KISS HAS called on his Ulster side to deliver five points against Oyonnax in the final round of the Champions Cup next weekend.

Ulster were outclassed by a powerful Saracens outfit at Allianz Park to leave their quarter-final qualification hopes hanging by a thread.

Clermont and Stade Francais are ahead of Ulster on 14 points while Northampton and Toulon could sneak ahead in the race for the three second-placed finishing spots following their home ties on Sunday.

Ulster will head into their final pool match with 13 points but a bonus-point victory against their French opponents can put them right in the mix for a place in the knockout stages.

“The truth is now we have to get five points and we also have to sit and wait for a couple of other results,” said the Australian.

“We don’t control our destiny completely. It’s the not ideal situation to be in but it’s a weird competition. Every year it does something different so we’ll see what happens.

“We’re first off the rank next week. The first game, so if we do our job then other people have to react to that.”

Luke Marshall’s superb early try gave Ulster the perfect start in north London but the power and efficiency of Saracens eventually told as Billy Vunipola, Duncan Taylor, Maro Itoje and Schalk Brits all crossed in a bonus-point victory that secured top spot in Pool 1, with a game to spare.

For a young Ulster outfit, it was a tough experience but one that will stand to the likes of Stuart McCloskey and Kyle McCall in the long-term.

Certainly, Ulster can learn from Saracens’ “ruthless efficiency” ahead of next Saturday’s crunch clash with Oyonnax.

Les Kiss Kiss after the game in London. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

“We’re extremely disappointed , to tell you the truth,” said Kiss. “They teach you a lesson every time you play them, in this game and the last game. It’s not good enough just to sit back and let those things happen to you in the second-half.

“That ruthless efficiency came to the fore. We reacted rather then held our composure.

Be part
of the team

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership.

Become a Member

“We had minutes that were good, but we didn’t have 80 minutes that were good. We have to take that hurt and transition that into a reaction next week.”

It was McCloskey’s early scything break that provided the platform for Marshall’s early score.

The powerful Ulster centre once again caught the eye and has been earmarked for a place in Joe Schmidt’s Six Nations squad in the coming weeks.

“Stuart was called into the camp a few weeks ago so he’s obviously in their sights,” added Kiss.

“It’s not for me to say whether he’s going to get there or not, but he’s certainly playing very well. He’s developing all the elements of his game. If he’s selected, well done. That’s what Joe and the other coaches will decide over the next day or two.”

CJ Stander: ‘The physicality and passion for the jersey came through for us’

Beautiful tries from Earls and Zebo set Munster on their way to a bonus point today

About the author:

Read next: