Heineken Champions Cup: Ulster 'didn't look like a quarter-final team' says head coach McFarland

Ulster Toulouse
Ulster struggled to make a contest out of their quarter-final against Toulouse

Ulster head coach Dan McFarland says his side looked short of the required standard during their comprehensive Champions Cup quarter-final defeat by Toulouse on Sunday.

The province were second best for the vast majority of the contest at Stade Ernest-Wallon as their French hosts sailed into the last four.

The result signalled the end of Ulster's season, with four losses in the five games after lockdown including their European exit and a Pro14 final defeat by Leinster.

"We know ourselves we didn't look like a quarter-final team today," McFarland told BT Sport after the game.

"For whatever reason after the break we haven't been playing very well and it looked like that today and we got punished and we deserved it."

Prior to rugby's coronavirus-enforced break Ulster had enjoyed a fine season, putting themselves in good positions in both the Pro14 and the Champions Cup.

While they were never favourites to win either competition, the comprehensive defeats suffered in both serve as a reminder of the work still to be done before they are in a position to lift their first silverware since 2006.

Against Toulouse they were too easily opened up in defence, while their attack struggled to make meaningful gains. However, McFarland was impressed with the work of his forwards against a considerably heavier pack.

"I was really pleased with the way the forwards went up front," he said.

"We talked about their pack and for 60 minutes our scrum was really excellent and the set-piece in general worked really well.

"Hats off to the forwards but in other areas of the game we just weren't at the races really."

The province now have a short turnaround before the 2020-21 season begins at the start of October.

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