A LATE SURGE of tries from Bordeaux condemned Ulster to an opening defeat in their Champions Cup campaign as they lost 28-13 in the Stade Chaban-Delmas.
The Ulster defence had held out admirably for most of the second half, but after Sebastien Taofifenua crossed with eight minutes to go, it spelled the end for Ulster.
Coming into the game it had been billed as a battle between the two Irish fly-halves: Ian Madigan and Paddy Jackson.
The early stages of the game belonged to Madigan and Bordeaux....
Now would be a good time to put a pin in the PRO12 after that defeat to Connacht.
We were off-colour and, for the first time this season, defensively suspect, so ahead of Europe it was maybe best that we received a wake-up call. Because you definitely don't want to be going away to France in anything less than a fully-focused frame of mind.
So the domestic side of the game will take a seat for a second, and instead we have to take on the European beast once more. In some ways it's rather...
Ulster's Ruan Pienaar and Dan Tuohy have both been named in the Barbarians squad to face Fiji at the Kingspan Stadium next month.
They are the fourth and fifth players in Robbie Deans and Will Greenwood's squad, joining Australians Taqele Naiyaravoro and Will Skelton, and former All Black Andy Ellis.
Pienaar will be making his fourth appearance for the Barbarians having featured for them on three previous occasions, including last year's 22-21 win over Ireland at Thomond Park, while Tuohy will...
Ulster found themselves up against a reinvigorated Connacht, who inflicted their first defeat of the season at the Galway Sportsground, winning their Guinness PRO12 clash 30-25.
A triple try salvo in the first half from the defending PRO12 champions set the platform for them, with Cian Kelleher in top form, scoring twice in the hosts' bonus point win.
Ulster will take a losing bonus point home, but it's scant consolation for Les Kiss' men who will be disappointed their unbeaten run has come to...
Sometimes in the league you have to ride your luck, and we most certainly did last weekend.
That's not necessarily a bad thing though. As much as we would like to put 40 or 50 points on teams each week, the ability to win those close games (something which we have struggled to do in the past) is a sign of a team that is mature and can win championships. Of course, we'd rather we didn't have to win ugly that often, but it's nice to know that we can.
Still, it doesn't excuse the fact that the...
It was a low-scoring affair, and Ulster may well feel they got out of jail at the Kingspan Stadium as they scraped past the Ospreys 9-7 in their Guinness PRO12 clash.
Paddy Jackson's three penalties, including one just a minute from the end, ensured Ulster maintain their 100% start to the season, while the Ospreys' milestone man Nicky Smith scored their only points through a fourth minute try.
The night couldn't have started any worse for Ulster, whose defence was exposed on a couple of...