Les Kiss says Ulster must realise 'we are not a good to great team yet'

Rory Best and other Ulster players show their disappointment after the final whistle at Sandy Park
Ulster have failed to reach the European Cup quarter-finals for a third straight season

Ulster's director of rugby Les Kiss says his team must "work harder" after exiting from the European Champions Cup following Sunday's defeat by Exeter.

For the umpteenth time this season, Kiss bemoaned his team's inability to take chances after they created 11 line breaks in the 31-19 loss at Sandy Park.

"We've got to realise that because we can create chances doesn't make us a good to great team yet," said Kiss.

Sunday's defeat makes next weekend's game against Bordeaux a dead rubber.

Kiss downbeat after Ulster's European exit

Kiss hinted that he may rest some of his big name players for the final Pool Five game at Kingspan Stadium as his mood was decidedly downbeat after Sunday's game.

"We work hard but we've got to work harder," added the Ulster boss.

"We are able to fashion out opportunities despite the fact that you're up against it in certain areas of the game such as the scrum tonight.

"To still be able to do those things is great but it doesn't get you the result if can't convert 11 clean line breaks to the point where you put the points on the board."

Speaking immediately after Sunday's game on BT Sport, Kiss struggled to hide his frustration after Ulster's third successive failure to progress to the knockout stages of Europe's premier club competition.

"It's not good enough to keep saying: 'We'll learn and get out and do the job next time'.

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"We've got to have players who are going to put their hands up and make a difference in terms of their play on a weekly basis and being more consistent.

"I've been in the dressing-room and the boys were quite frank with each other about the disappointment of not being able to do the deal."

Kiss was more measured in his subsequent post-match news conference as he focused on his team's failure to convert their chances.

"We showed some good patches tonight. We made 11 clean breaks to their three which tells a little bit of a story about not being clinical.

"I've got to take my hat off to Exeter. There is some really good ambition in their play at times.."

Kiss added that he had no complaints with Romain Poite's decision to award the decisive late penalty try, when Ulster fly-half Paddy Jackson was also yellow carded for a deliberate knock-on as Exeter looked certain to touch down.

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