Dealing with late pressurised kicks is nothing new to John Cooney.

The 29-year-old has been a revelation since his decision to join Ulster in 2017 after failing to establish himself as a first-team regular at Leinster and Connacht.

An eye-catching maiden season at Kingspan Stadium saw the scrum-half rewarded with a new contract in September 2018. Either side of the deal, Cooney slotted last-minute kicks to seal two dramatic victories for the province on the bounce, with Scarlets and Edinburgh falling foul to his accuracy from the tee.

On Saturday Dan McFarland's side made it three wins from three in Europe courtesy of a one-point win over Harlequins, with Cooney claiming the headlines in Belfast.

The home side trailed 24-22 in the closing stages after two second-half tries from Quins hooker Elia Elia had edged the visitors in front, but an Adam McBurney try and Cooney's conversion left Ulster within range and he held his nerve from range to see Ulster lead the way in Pool 3.

Cooney told RTÉ Sport that getting inside the psyche of a golfer helps and insisted the earlier conversion led the way for the grandstand finish.

"It’s always a bit of a process," he said.

"The [McBurney] try puts us in that position. I always think it’s the second last kick that puts you in that position, so if I miss that conversion it doesn’t even matter.

"I read a few golf books which helps in those pressure moments. I go back to that just before the kick. If anything, I was even more relaxed than the kick before.

"I took a little longer than I normally do as it was quite windy. I was waiting for that wind to go down because I knew from watching the World Cup, people missing those kicks were putting them left. I knew it was a right to left wind, so if you miss it, you are going to miss it left.

"I told myself I wasn’t the first person in that scenario. I embrace it, I enjoy it."

We are not as good as we think we are

McFarland will be pleased with three wins from three in the competition, but with a points difference of seven, knows there is room for improvement.

His scrum-half was singing from the same hymn sheet and revealed some harsh words were spoken at the interval with the sides level despite a bright opening half hour.

"It was more of a wake-up call for us. We nearly believed that bit of confidence in our own hype. We are not as good as we think we are and we have to go back to training and make sure we finish off those opportunities.

"It’s a 'fight for every inch' mentality we have."