Ulster flanker Sean Reidy  drives for the try line despite the attentions of  Valentin Ursache of  Oyonnax during the Champions Cup game at Kingspan Stadium  in Belfast. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

An eight-try 56-3 thumping of Oyonnax put Ulster in as strong a position as they could have hoped for as they waited to learn whether it would be enou(...)

Rory Best congratulates Ian Humphreys after his try for Ulster in the Champions Cup victory over Oyonnax at Kingspan Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ulster 56 Oyonnax 3 Ultimately, as a place in the quarter-finals was prised from their grasp as the weekend unfolded, Ulster were left to lament prev(...)

Ulster’s Nick Williams in action against Connacht. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Maybe it’s the relative lack of Irish interest, but the final weekend of what is now the European Champions Cup somehow used to seem more fun. Mathe(...)

A dejected Ulster captain Rory Best leaving the pitch after Saturday’s European Rugby Champions Cup defeat by Saracens in London. Photograph: Andrew Fosker/Inpho/Presseye

Ulster’s defeat represented systemic failure, rooted far deeper then the obvious shortcomings in the set piece. The malaise that permeated one aspect (...)

Owen Farrell celebrates Duncan Taylor’s score during Saracens’ 33-17 win over Ulster. Photograph: Inpho

Saracens 33 Ulster 17 Saracens secured a home quarter-final in the Champions Cup with a round of matches still to go following another hugely impress(...)

Munster’s Simon Zebo is attracting the interest of clubs like Toulouse while tighthead prop Marty Moore is leaving Leinster for Wasps in the English Premiership. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

“I mean, let’s look at the margins that they’re losing these games by. No one’s being blown off the park.” – David Nucifora, the IRFU Performance Dire(...)

Jared Payne could return to Ulster for their Champions Cup trip to play Saracens. Photograph:   James Crombie/Inpho

Jared Payne looks set to return to competitive action this weekend for the first time since damaging his foot while playing for Ireland against Romani(...)

Decisive points: Paddy Jackson converts a late penalty for Ulster to win the European Champions Cup game against Oyonnax at Stade Charles Mathon on Sunday. Photograph: Darren Kidd/Presseye/Inpho

Another chastening weekend for Irish rugby in Europe. True, Ulster kept the flag flying by recovering from a 23-0 half-time deficit to win 24-23 in th(...)

 Rory Scholes stretches to score  Ulster’s first try in the Champions Cup Pool 1 game against Oyonnax at  Stade Charles Mathon. Photograph: Darren Kidd/Inpho/Presseye

Oyonnax 23 Ulster 24 Oyannax won the first half 23-0, whereupon Ulster won the second 24-0. Just like that. If the first half suggested Ulster’s stre(...)

Ulster’s Craig Gilroy is tackled by Semi Kutanami of Toulouse: Gilroy returns as fullback for the clash with Oyonnax. Photograph: Pascal Pavani/Presseye/Inpho

Just like Munster today, Ulster are in French must-win territory tomorrow. The difference is that although Oyonnax are only two places behind Stade F(...)