‘To the Ulster fans…I let you down’: Stockdale apologises for Champions Cup error

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Jacob Stockdale has apologised to Ulster fans after he made what Brian O’Driscoll called an “unforgivable” error.

With Ulster leading in their Champions Cup quarter-final against Leinster, Stockdale danced through the opposition defence but let the ball slip as he went to touch it down over the try line.

Leinster went on the turn the game back in their favour to secure a 21-18 win.

The Ulster winger today took to Instagram to offer a heartfelt apology to the Ulster fan base, telling them they deserve to have a Champions Cup semi-final to look forward to.

“I’ve had some incredible highs with Ulster rugby, but unfortunately yesterday was a low for me,” Stockdale wrote.

“Sport can be cruel and sometimes you have to learn your lessons the hard way.

“To the Ulster fans I just want to say I am sorry, I let you down, the support we had yesterday was truly amazing and you deserve to be looking forward to a European semi-final.”

Speaking after the game, Brian O’Driscoll said on BT Sport that Stockdale should have dived over the line to guarantee the ball was touched down.

“He had a fair bit of work to do but this, unfortunately for Jacob Stockdale, is unforgivable,” said O’Driscoll.

“When you find yourself over the whitewash – yes there’s a player dragging out of him maybe looking to get a challenge in – you’ve got to dive.

“You’ve got to guarantee the ball goes down.”

O’Driscoll added that the risk of a knock-on “tends not to happen, or at least far less frequently, when you dive”.

Ulster coach Dan McFarland refused to blame Stockdale for the defeat and stood by his player.

“I know what you want me to say and I’m not going to say that,” he said after he game.

“I’ve been asked four times already the question about Jacob and my answer is that not many players in the world would have beaten that many players to get into that position.

“He’s disappointed but that’s not the reason we lost the game.”

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