Jacob Stockdale: Team-mate Gilroy says wing will probably score in next game

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Craig Gilroy says Jacob Stockdale will quickly recover from try mishap trauma

Ulster's Craig Gilroy says fellow wing Jacob Stockdale will probably score a try in his next game despite his heartbreak in the European Champions Cup defeat by Leinster.

Stockdale dropped the ball over the line as Ulster missed out on a potentially match-clinching try in Saturday's 21-18 loss.

"He'll be back scoring tries in his next game no doubt," said Gilroy.

Ulster face Glasgow Warriors away in a crucial Pro14 game on Friday.

With Ulster needing a strong finish to the campaign in their remaining three conference games to guarantee their play-offs spot, coach Dan McFarland is expected to select a strong team, although captain Rory Best looks set to miss out after picking up an ankle injury early in the European quarter-final.

Ulster lock Kieran Treadwell consoles Stockdale after Saturday's European quarter-final
Jacob Stockdale's devastation was clear to see after Saturday's game at the Aviva Stadium

Stockdale apologises to Ulster fans

Stockdale apologised to Ulster fans in an Instagram post on Sunday after receiving criticism from a number of media pundits, including former Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll, for failing to touch the ball down following his sensational break.

But Gilroy, who has been out of action for five months because of a back injury, has no doubt Stockdale will "dust himself off" for the conclusion of the Pro14 campaign.

"You have to take the highs and the lows together. Obviously, there is going to be a bit of heartbreak at the start," said Gilroy, who has won 10 Ireland caps.

"Nobody died. You can have a bit of craic with your mates in the dressing-room afterwards and don't beat yourself up too much.

"Jacob has done phenomenally well for us. He is a fantastic winger."

Gilroy says the brilliance of Stockdale's run past Leinster trio Adam Byrne, Jordan Larmour and Sean Cronin has been overlooked amid the widespread media comment over his losing control of the ball, under pressure from Dave Kearney.

"Jacob did fantastically well to get himself into that position. He had no right to get through [that amount of players] really," said Gilroy.

"It was just unlucky for him. Nine times out of 10, he'll score that.

"He did a lot of really good things in that game and it's a bit harsh to blame that incident for the loss, as Dan [McFarland] has alluded to."

Jacob Stockdale and Craig Gilroy are both Ireland internationals
Craig Gilroy hopes to be in action alongside Stockdale before the end of the season

Injury left Gilroy 'unable to put socks on'

Gilroy has not featured for Ulster since the European game against Racing 92 in October because of a back injury but hopes to be back in action before the end of this season.

The wing's ailment even made "putting my socks on or getting out of the car" problematic for a time.

"I'm probably another month off [full fitness]. I'm back training and running now and hopefully will do a bit of contact work next," he explained.

"I'm through the worst of it. There was a time when I was struggling a bit, but I'm on the mend now."

The 28-year-old has managed to keep himself busy during his injury lay-off with the final year of his university degree.

"I do try to see the positives in things. I'm working away with all the staff. The strength and conditioning coaches and physios have been fantastic with me," he added.

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