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McLaughlin purely focused on rugby matters

Guinness PRO12 Editor

11 Feb 2012

Ulster head coach Brian McLaughlin allowed his mind to wander to his side’s Heineken Cup quarter-final clash with Munster – but refused to discuss off-field matters after the bonus point victory over Newport Gwent Dragons on Friday.

McLaughlin’s men moved to fifth place in the RaboDirect PRO12 table thanks to a 30-12 victory at Ravenhill – Robbie Diack, Ruan Pienaar, Craig Gilroy and Stefan Terblanche all crossing for Ulster.

Ulster were much the better side on the day, having shrugged off their off-field issues – McLaughlin confirming earlier this week that he won’t be in charge next season.

But he was delighted to see his players chalk up a fourth RaboDirect PRO12 victory in five matches.

“We probably let four chances go in the first half, which was a little disappointing, but again we were coming back from a three-week break and conditions were not great out there,” he said.

“But in the second half we did better and we kept the intensity and energy there.

“The rugby is the most important thing and that is making sure the guys are in the right place and kick on in PRO12 and making sure that whenever our opportunity comes at Thomond Park in April we are ready for that.

“That is my focus, that is the players’ focus and that is exactly what we want.”