Ulster head coach Dan McFarland was delighted with his side after they claimed an unlikely away victory against Clermont Auvergne.
Clermont haven’t been in the best form in the Top 14 this season, as they sit in seventh place having won six of their opening 12 league fixtures, but the French side are notoriously difficult to beat at home and were the strong favourites against Ulster.
The Irish province clearly weren’t intimidated by Clermont’s impressive home record however, as they claimed an excellent 29-23 victory at the Stade Marcel-Michelin in their opening Heineken Champions Cup game.
McFarland was speaking to the Belfast Telegraph after the game and congratulated his players after securing a memorable away win against Clermont.
Ulster boss Dan McFarland expresses pride in his players.
“It’s a terrific achievement to come and win in Clermont at any stage for any team,” McFarland said.
“They’re a great team. They’re probably not playing their best rugby at the moment but they still have the same players who are able to do amazing stuff.
“They demonstrated that in the game. I thought we played really well for most of the game in the way that we controlled it.
“The bottom line is we have a lot of lads out there who have been banging on the door of the starting team without being considered to be our starters. They’ve been performing really well and they were magnificent today.”
“I thought we played well in the way we controlled it for most of the game. We’ve got a lot of lads out there who have been banging on the door and were magnificent today. That is a victory we should be proud of.”
– DMcF 👊 pic.twitter.com/vqqhhCdxtY
— Ulster Rugby (@UlsterRugby) December 11, 2021
The northern province took a big step towards the last 16.
Although Ulster have only won their first of four Champions Cup pool games, they have already taken a big step towards qualifying for the knock out stages of the tournament.
As eight of the 12 teams in each of the two pools progress to the last 16, two wins out of four should be enough to make it through, and Ulster now look extremely likely to achieve that having claimed an away victory.
Ulster will welcome Northampton Saints to Kingspan Stadium in the next round of the Champions Cup, and they will know that a victory could be enough to see them escape Pool A.
Northampton got their European campaign off to a horror start, as they suffered a 45-14 home defeat to a Finn Russell-inspired Racing 92 at Franklin’s Gardens.