Leinster coach Leo Cullen admitted to being somewhat underwhelmed by his side’s 22-7 Guinness Pro12 derby win over Ulster, but is looking forward to seeing a squad brimmingwith potential flourish in 2017.

Cullen felt fatigue was a factor in his side’s failure to secure a bonus point at the RDS.

“I thought we looked a bit tired and sluggish at times,” he told RTÉ Sport.“Any time we turned the ball over, we managed to turn it over straight away again.

“Being able to hold the ball and being able to control possession a little but better would be a good starting point.”

“I think there’s a lot more to come from the team"

Johnny Sexton, who has been sidelined since sustaining a hamstring injury in the defeat to New Zealand in November, had been in line to return to the fray against Ulster.

However, Cullen insisted that his absence was purely precautionary, saying: “We’re just making sure that he’s in good shape when he does reappear, but we’re definitely getting closer.”

Looking ahead to what fans can expect in 2017, Cullen said: “We’re certainly making positive steps.

“We were probably at 50% of our potential out there today, which is exciting.

“I think there’s a lot more to come from the team. I think the players themselves are a little bit disappointed with the way part of that game went. There are definitely areas we can get better.

“Its pleasing to see how some of the young guys who have come in during the course of 2016 have really added in terms of the character they give to the team.

“That’s probably the most pleasing part.”