European Champions Cup: Ulster's Kiss disappointed by defeat to Clermont

Ulster flanker Chris Henry in action during the loss to Clermont Auvergne
Ulster flanker Chris Henry in action during the loss to Clermont Auvergne

Ulster Director of Rugby Les Kiss conceded he was "pretty disappointed" by his side's 38-19 defeat by Clermont Auvergne in Champions Cup Pool 5.

The reverse in France dealt a setback to the Irish province's hopes of making the quarter-finals of the tournament.

"In the first 30 minutes we gave them seven or eight scoring opportunities and when you do that this team can hurt you. That's what they did," said Kiss.

"Fair play to Clermont, they kept going and were deserved winners," he added.

Ulster fought their way back into the game at 28-19 after trailing 28-0 soon after half-time, but lost their way in the latter stages as their French opponents assumed control again.

"We talked before the game about controlling the ball, owning it and keeping our discipline right, also not giving away silly penalties and keeping them out of our half," said Kiss after the game.

"We controlled things a little better in the second half but didn't look after the ball, letting them steal it when we were trying to score the fourth try which would have given us a bonus point.

"We started to get some traction in the scrum in the second half but overall I'm disappointed.

"The boys put their hands up and scared them a bit but we didn't compete in the way that we can."

Ulster now turn their thoughts towards a busy festive programme of Pro12 fixtures, which begins with the visit of Connacht to Kingspan Stadium on Friday night.

Prop Kyle McCall, who has a hamstring injury, and lock Pete Browne are both set to miss the Irish interprovincial derby.

"Connacht will be on a high after their win over Wasps so we must be as prepared as we can be. It's a big game for us," said Kiss.

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