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Published: 21:59 | 6/10/17

Stockdale delighted after win over Connacht

Jacob Stockdale says Friday's 16-8 Pro 14 win over Connacht gives Ulster "great momentum" ahead of their European Rugby Champions Cup campaign.

Man-of-the-match Stockdale scored a brilliant try in front of the watching Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt, as Ulster bounced back from last week's shock 27-23 defeat to Zebre in Parma to go top of Conference B.

Ulster now face Premiership side Wasps in the first match of their European Champions Cup Pool A campaign at Kingspan Stadium on Friday, 13 October, followed by a visit to France to take on Top 14 side La Rochelle on Sunday, 22 October.

"We had a big point to prove after the match last week, and we trained really well this week," Ireland winger Stockdale told BBC NI.

"But yes, it gives us really great momentum. An inter-pro is the best way to go into a European week. They are a lot different to other matches. Every hit seems that little bit harder."

Stockdale scored a brilliant 56th-minute try against Connacht, following superb work by Charles Piutau in the build-up, but the 21-year-old, who made his Ireland debut against the USA Eagles this summer, was just as keen to praise the contribution of the Ulster defence.

"Most of the time I feel I am just trying to keep up with Charles, so it was good to be in front of him this time," he continued.

"For all of the second half the defence was class, flying off the line and smashing through, they were great.

"The message at half-time [with Ulster 5-3 down] was to tidy up a few things as we knew we had the upper hand on them. We just had to keep it going, keep the intensity going until the final minute."

Photo Inpho/ Dan Sheridan

Ulster host Premiership side Wasps in their European Champions Cup Pool A opener at Kingspan Stadium on Friday, 13 October, a match which will be shown live on BT Sport on the eir Sport pack.

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