Richie Murphy. Ben Brady/INPHO

'We are a little bit Jekyll and Hyde, some really good stuff and some ugly stuff'

Ulster interim coach Richie Murphy reflects on his side’s win over Benetton.

THOUGH DELIGHTED AT making it back-to-back wins in the URC, Ulster interim coach Richie Murphy still described his side’s performance as having elements of ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ to it.

Even though they scored five tries and bagged an essential bonus point. Ulster also conceded the same number of touchdowns to Benetton and only won the game 38-34.

“I’m very happy with the win,” said Murphy, “and at times we played some very good rugby but on the other side of that we are a little bit Jekyll and Hyde, some really good stuff and some ugly stuff that cost us badly.”

Leading 28-13 following Will Addison’s bonus point score in the 50th minute, Ulster then coughed up two converted tries which brought the Italians to just one point behind with 20 minutes still to play.

Though Ulster again put some daylight between themselves and Benetton, the visitors ended the game scoring another converted try.

“There have been some good performances, but we haven’t quite finished anything, and this feels like we’re getting better but we didn’t quite finish it,” said Murphy.

Praising his half back partnership of player of the match John Cooney and the restored Billy Burns, Murphy said: “There were some really good bits and Billy is a talented out half and he can bring people into the game and John moving the ball quickly and those two experienced half backs had a pretty good game.

“I thought the lads on the outside, Rob Baloucoune, Jacob Stockdale and Mike Lowry had big games as well.

“I was really happy with all the guys,” he added before focusing on some of the not so quality defensive work.

“Some of the tries come from bad decisions in our attack and Will (Addison) will understand this,” said Murphy of the Benetton’s second try just after half time.

“His (Addison’s) offload has cost us seven points when we were in the position of controlling the game and that’s a decision he’s made, he doesn’t mean to make the mistake but it’s a mistake and it’s something we’ve had in our game for the last number of weeks.

“Those are the types of things we want to tidy up but from a defensive point of view I think our tackling quality needs to be a lot better and we need to work harder to get set in positions so we can defend together.”

Michael Sadlier
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