ulster120white Ulster’s European ambitions received a knock as they failed to withstand a second half fight back from a determined Edinburgh side in Murrayfield yesterday afternoon.

Unfortunately I was slightly “indisposed” and had to content myself with listening to the game on Radio Ulster so there is not much I can add to the existing match reports. You can read all about it on Ulster Rugby, the BBC and the ERC sites. It looks as though Naill Crozier hasn’t made it back from Edinburgh yet but I’m sure there’ll be something on the Belfast Telegraph shortly as well.

From what I’ve heard and read it appears that Edinburgh were fully deserving of their narrow victory in what appeared to be a fairly drab encounter. Ulster had chances to steal it but it seems that they are still finding it difficult to bring their “A game” to the vacant Murrayfield.

Given the level of expectation before the game, there can be no denying that this was a disappointing result but, it has to be pointed out, the depth of depression descending on some of the supporters is a measure of how much we have improved this year. Ulster have definitely raised the bar this year and, rest assured, there will be plenty more spills and thrills along the way this season.

This time last season Ulster had been beaten by Stade Francais at home and hammered by Harlequins away and were sitting bottom of the Heineken Cup group with zero points. We had also lost to Scarlets, Blues, and Dragons and absolutely hammered by Ospreys in the Magners League. In fact it was Played 6 Won 0 in all competitions!

This season we have Played 7 Won 4 and are sitting second in both our Heineken Cup group and the Magners League with very real chances of reaching play off stages in both competitions. The only difference this result has made is that our more realistic European ambition this season is the Challenge Cup than the Heiny, but if Bath win today it’s everyone back to square one in the group.

Roll on Saturday, bring it on Leinster!

Vote for your Ulster Man of the Match for this game here.