‘It’s a monkey off our backs’ as Bann finally get a win outside Ulster

Daniel Soper.  Picture credit: John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL
Daniel Soper. Picture credit: John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Banbridge’s win at Cashel on Saturday was their first success outside Ulster this season.

That came as a huge relief to Head Coach Daniel Soper, who couldn’t get to the game with work commitments.

After narrow defeats at Thomond, Skerries and UCC, Bann finally got the hang of securing a result on the road, this time coming out on the right end of a tight scoreline.

“It was great to get our first win outside Ulster and get that monkey of our backs,” said Soper, whose side had last one away from the province in January last year at UCC.

“That’s another task we set ourselves because we’re going to have to do it another two or three times if we want to keep going.”

Soper was also quick to praise his side for grinding out a result and this time ensuring it wasn’t a fourth narrow defeat of the season.

“It was a good example of how to win,” he said.

“After being 18-10 down with about 13 minutes remaining, to score the points we needed a win was fantastic. We then shut them out so that’s hopefully a sign that there is some learning going on.”

It was a weekend of horrible conditions across Ireland and Spafield was no exception.

“I watched the video back on Sunday and the conditions were miserable,” said Soper. “The pitch was very soft and in the final quarter, it was hard to even tell which team was which.

“There was a lot of pressure on us early on and we conceded twice. Their maul was very good again, as we expected and they had worked on their scrum. In the previous game, we pushed them all over the pitch but on Saturday, they put us under pressure.

“It was a tight, tight game that could have gone either way.

“There were probably only about two opportunities from open play to get behind the defence and thankfully we were good enough to do that and score a really good try.