"We did not turn up at Twickenham" - Mark Anscombe
Ulster Rugby coach Mark Anscombe was left ruing why his team hadn't turned up at Twickenham Stadium and played their best rugby after the Irish province crashed out of the Heineken Cup at the quarter-finals stage.
It was the second year in a row that the Ulster fans had suffered heartbreak at the home of English rugby, having lost the 2012 final there to Leinster. Saracens' 27-16 triumph booked them a Twickenham return for the semi-finals.
Having beaten the top team in the RaboDirect PRO12, Leinster, in Dublin the previous weekend, Ulster were never able to reach the same heights against the Aviva Premiership leaders in their biggest game of the season.
"Saracens were simply too good for us and they thoroughly deserved their victory. They stuck to their game plan and played to their strengths," admitted Anscombe.
"We didn't play with the kind of energy we wanted and their defence was superb. We didn't throw everything we had at them.
"Why? Without looking for excuses, we haven't had a lot of time together as a team and we probably needed two or three games together before coming into a game like this - we probably rushed players back.
"We'd had a difficult game the previous weekend and maybe it took a bit more sting out of us than we thought. But we have a good team at Ulster and we will still be a good team."
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
The Ulster Rugby full back, Jared Payne (No 15), has been suspended for two (2) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill Stadium on Saturday, 5 April.