Craig Watson/INPHO Henderson: sealed the bonus point.
# bonus territory
'If we are fighting for a chance going into the last game, then it is exciting at least'
Bonus-point win in Edinburgh gives Ulster renewed hope of playoff place.

WITH THEIR FIRST win since the start of February, Ulster hope their run of sloppy form has come to an end and they can finish the season with a late run to the Guinness Pro14 playoffs.

Assistant coach Dwayne Peel was delighted with the resolve his players showed, particularly in the first half, in a 32-20 win against Edinburgh, the team they have to catch to reach the end of season knockout games.

But he dismissed the idea that the province’s off-field troubles have had anything to do with the recent run of defeats.

“It is nothing to do with that,” he said. “It is just a case of preparing every week, we have been doing that for the last couple of weeks without having had the results. It sometimes goes for you, it sometimes does not.

Now, it is a big couple of weeks ahead for us. It gives us a chance and if we are fighting for a chance going into the last game of the season then it is exciting at least.

Ulster are now eight points behind Edinburgh but have a crucial game in hand – the match against Glasgow Warriors that was called off because of the snow at the start of last month. A win there would bring them back within range, though both teams have a tough closing schedule – Ulster also face the Ospreys and Munster, while Edinburgh have the Scarlets and Glasgow.

“There has been a lot of hard work but we have not had the results. It was good to have a good week’s training, good input from everyone, and nice to have the rewards because we have not had the rewards,” Peel added.

“It was a team effort. There were some good plays and we managed to get over the line. The attacking platform was excellent and the defence effort from everyone was good. We kicked pretty well and that allowed us to get into the game in the right areas. Credit to the boys, some of the tries were very good.

“Hopefully, we will have a good couple of games coming up, starting next week with Ospreys. It is the old cliche of taking it a week at a time. The Ospreys had a good win, beating Connacht at home, so it will be a tough match for us at home but if we prepare well, like we did this week, and get it right on the pitch, we give ourselves a chance.

“Our away form has not been good this year, that is why this game was important – it showed the steely edge. Apart from an interception try, I thought we were dominant though Edinburgh did come back in the second half. It was good to get that bonus point at the end.”

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Ulster lift the gloom with big bonus-point win over play-off rivals Edinburgh

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