Harlequins captain Dave Ward has blamed defensive mistakes for his side’s defeat to Ulster in their Champions Cup clash at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast on Friday.
Their 52-24 loss means Quins have now lost all four of their matches in the tournament and they are languishing at the bottom of Pool One’s standings, four points adrift of Wasps, who have a game in hand.
Ward said with Ulster holding a slender 16-12 lead at the interval, he felt his side could cause an upset.
He felt they gave their hosts too much space during the second half, however, which proved costly in the end and to make matters worse, the Premiership side had to play with 14 men for 10 minutes after Kyle Sinckler was yellow carded for taking out Jacob Stockdale off the ball, midway through the second half.
“At half-time, I really thought we’re going to give them a run for their money,” he told Harlequins’ official website.
“The boys showed a lot of effort and it was six tries to four in the end. Obviously they kicked a few penalties as well. But we just made some simple errors and we didn’t really work very hard for a third of their tries. First phase tries which didn’t help our cause and the sin binning was crucial as well.”
Ward said he was happy that his side managed to secure a try-scoring bonus point but feels there’s plenty of room for improvement.
“There’s not many teams that come to Ulster and score four (tries) but, in the end, defensively 50 points doesn’t look good,” he added.
“It’s so difficult as 50 points is not a good scoreline but take away a few of their tries and it could have been a lot closer. That’s what’s the most disappointing aspect because we say this every week, the effort and energy was there but it was just those little individual errors which we all made that cost us the result.”