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Last Updated: Saturday, 13 December, 2003, 14:49 GMT
Solomons delight after Ulster win
Paddy Wallace scored two minutes after coming on as a substitute
Paddy Wallace scored Ulster's crucial second half try

Alan Solomons described Ulster's dramatic Heineken Cup win over Stade Francais as the best performance in his three seasons in charge of the Irish province.

"I cannot speak highly enough of the boys' play in the second half," said the Ulster coach.

"They did exactly what they had to do and ground out a terrific win.

"But it will mean nothing if we don't keep going strong in the New Year.

"I was unhappy with the way we played in the first 40 minutes - the set-piece was a little shoddy as it was against Gwent last weekend, but we picked it up in a manner which shows what this competition means to us.

"We may be in with a shout in the Celtic Cup and League but this is the business end and I was pleased with how the pack rumbled them over in the end.

"David (Humphreys) missed four kicks but got the crucial ones you could say and Paddy (Wallace) really gave us the spark to go on and win with a great try and excellent running in the loose".

The win will be a boost to Ulster confidence ahead of next Saturday's Celtic Cup decider against Edinburgh at Murrayfield.

It can something take something special to separate two big teams
David Humphreys

However, Stade Francais coach Nick Mallett failed to hide his disappointment.

"Everyone is devastated. You probably saw me running up and down in the stand while the second half progressed," explained the former Springbok coach, who has been linked recently with a move back to manage his national side.

"We gave them back the impetus in the game, we were being penalised too much and we lost focus and crucial yardage in the final 20 minutes.

"But we'll move on from this and get stuck into the French championship, which is maybe where Ulster got us in the end as they've been back playing together since early September".

Ulster fly-half David Humphreys, who kicked 17 points, singled out Ballymena young star Paddy Wallace for special praise.

"It can something take something special to separate two big teams in a tight game, and Paddy is that sort of player," he said.

"I am delighted for him as he's been in and out of the team and didn't get in the Ireland side in the World Cup so this has given him and the whole of the set-up the ideal boost ahead of next weekend in Scotland".




SEE ALSO
Ulster players free for final
09 Dec 03  |  Internationals
Stade tame Tigers
06 Dec 03  |  European Club
Dragons beat Ulster
07 Dec 03  |  European Club


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