Ulster head coach Dan McFarland praised the mental resolve of his players after they ended their long wait for a win away to Leinster.

His side were 20-10 victors against the defending champions at the RDS, ending a run of 14 defeats in a row to the Blues in Dublin, which had stretched back as far as 2013.

Just as sweet as the victory is the fact that they bounced back from their humbling loss to Connacht five weeks ago, a result they had been stewing on for the last month.

"Four weeks is a long time to be sitting and thinking that we didn't earn the respect that we needed," McFarland said after their impressive victory.

"There was definitely an element of that, adding a fuel to the fire, or a spark, a catalyst of motivation coming into this game.

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"Playing Leinster in Dublin is the ultimate test in our league, it’s as simple as that.

"We knew what we had to do, and it’s a huge ask, and to be fair to the lads and the preparation they put in during the week, I thought they did a magnificent job."

His side had been the better team throughout and had built up a 10-0 lead early in the second half, but when Leinster drew the game level with just over ten minutes to to, there was an ominous feeling in the air that the champions would see out a victory they scarcely deserved.

However a penalty from Nathan Doak nudged Ulster back in front, before an intercept try from player of the match James Hume sealed the victory.

It was a dogged final quarter which McFarland says revealed a lot about his players.

"We've been in this situation a number of times where we’ve played a good first half, been up at half time and then that third quarter, wow that’s always tough here.

"It’s always tough here. We had a couple of things that we needed to sort out at half-time, and to be fair we did, around our defensive stuff and not dipping into rucks and trying to fill the field. We made errors at the start of that second half, and it was only through a couple of jackals and defensive plays that got us out of some trouble.

"In times gone by the game has started to drift away from us in that third quarter as Leinster have got on top, but in this game it didn’t. We were gritty, tough, we fought back, we found the mental resilience when they scored that try to be able to fight back."

Ulster's preparations for the game weren't helped by assistant coaches Jared Payne and Dan Soper both taken out of training for Covid-related issues.

McFarland says the fact that his squad's preparations weren't massively effected is a testament to both his coaching team and players for how they take responsibility.

The former Scotland assistant said those disruptions often bring a new energy and intensity to training.

However, he says not even he would want to be in the situation of Munster, the Scarlets, Cardiff and Zebre, who are stranded in South Africa following the discovery of a new Covid-19 variant there in recent there.

"I actually quite like those little things that make it difficult, often it’s travel problems, it could be disruption in the week with facilities. In the last while there’s been Covid, any number of things, changing schedules.

"I actually like that because guys get used to things, and then it suddenly hits them and they have to adapt and get on with it, and it makes it more fun.

"Having said that I’ll tell you one thing I wouldn’t want, I wouldn’t want to be stuck in South Africa at the moment. I really feel for those guys. That is tough going, tough going."