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Shane Jennings criticises “average” Jacob Stockdale after Ulster loss

Jacob Stockdale Shane Jennings

A disappointing end to the season.

Former Ireland international Shane Jennings has criticised the performance of Jacob Stockdale after Ulster were knocked out of the Champions Cup.

Jacob Stockdale Shane Jennings

Ulster travelled to the south of France without talisman Marcell Coetzee to take on Toulouse but they were second best as they fell to a heavy 36-8 defeat at the Stade Ernest-Wallon.

Although Coetzee’s absence was a huge blow for Ulster as he is their main ball carrier, the northern province have been struggling for form since the restart which saw them soundly beaten by Leinster in the PRO14 final last weekend.

Stockdale was not the only Ulster player not to perform on the day but he was beaten by Cheslin Kolbe twice in a one-on-one situation which saw the South African star score two tries.

Shane Jennings, who was on punditry duty on Virgin Media, believes Jacob Stockdale needs to have a “good hard look at himself” after his performance against Toulouse.

Shane Jennings: “The lads like (Jacob) Stockdale, man, he was poor.”

“Where was Stockdale? He’s their Irish international, he’s their best player in the backline.

“You want Stockdale and (Stuart) McCloskey to step up, obviously there was the disruption (Billy Burns going off). Even more so at that stage, you want a fella like that, they have to turn to a leader, they’re going to turn to their best player.

“He was average at best. Sloppy ball-handling, shifting on poor passes to people in worse positions than he was. Defensively…that would be what was really irking at me if I was a coach going back into that dressing room…

“You see the younger guys like Michael Lowry, nobody expected anything from him but you see him putting it out there. Some great chips, the willingness to play. He was giving it a lash like some of the other guys. (James) Hume, it was his first big occasion.

“The lads like Stockdale, man, he was poor. If you have your best player not performing like that you’re never going to get anywhere. So I think he needs to have a good hard look at himself.”

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email seanmc@punditarena.com or on Twitter