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Published: 12:07 | 22/10/18

Best trying to stay positive


Rory Best will try to look to the positives following Ulster's loss to Racing 92 in the Heineken Champions Cup.

Ulster eventually went down 44-12 to the Top 14 side but the Irish province had a number of opportunities to claim a bonus point.

However, they were unable to take the opportunities and Ulster now face a battle to reach the knockout stages of the Heineken Champions Cup as they sit third in Pool 4.

Despite the defeat, Best believes the scoreline did not accurately reflect the game.

"The scoreline suggests we were well-beaten but I think there were parts within the game where we really had a chance. The difference is that at one stage when they were ahead, it felt like they took every opportunity they had," Best is quoted as saying in the Belfast Telegraph.

"Some of that was our own doing. You want to be rock solid in all your aspects of the game but sometimes you have bits that aren't as good as you'd like them to be. You've got to have enough about you to scramble and fight and make sure they don't become seven-pointers.

"That's a learning for us. But having said that, there were aspects of the game we'll be really happy with. We went through phases, troubled them a lot - especially early on - then in that latter part.

"At 30-12, we had a couple of really good opportunities to take it to 30-19 and then you have a chance of coming away with a losing bonus point at a minimum, maybe two points if you get another try.

"There were aspects we'll be happy with and aspects that probably show the difference between a team that are favourites to win the competition and a team that are trying to take a step forward to get themselves into a position where they win tight games like that."

Ulster must get something out of their back-to-back games against Ulster to have any hope of progressing beyond the Pool stages and Best if refusing to give up.

"Racing, as number one seeds, look like the team to beat in our pool but at the same time, we have four games now that we feel are four winnable games. Historically, you'll see that if you can get five out of six or four out of six whttps://www.eirsport.ie/subscribeith some bonus points along the way, you have a chance," he said.

"We have back-to-back games against Scarlets, they're going to be fighting for their lives and I think, to a certain extent, so are we because we need to get something over there and probably need a win."

"We're not going to scramble. You saw last year that Scarlets lost their first two games and got through.

"We have to first make sure that we go back to the PRO14 and take the aspects that were pleasing over the last two weeks, march them forward, and the look at those little bits of improvement.

"Where we are at this point, early in the season, it's all about trying to improve. About trying to put steps forward together."

Ulster host Dragons at Kingspan Stadium in the Guinness PRO14 on Friday, 26 October live on eir sport [kick-off 7.55pm]. Subscribe here

Image: Inpho Photography/Billy Stickland

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