PADDY JACKSON ADMITTED that the Ulster dressing room was a glum place to be after Friday night’s 29-29 draw against Benetton Treviso at Ravenhill in the RaboDirect PRO12.
The 21-year-old also reflected a whirlwind few weeks, during which he earned his first Ireland cap in the disappointing defeat to Scotland.
“It’s been a long couple of weeks! Bit of a rollercoaster of emotions and stuff. I was chuffed to get my first cap and loved it, I’ll be even more chuffed to get another one,” Jackson, the only member of the Murrayfield starting XV to be released for domestic duties this weekend, told TheScore.ie.
“That’s the first time I’ve kicked for two games in a row for I don’t know how long.
“I was very nervous at the start. I think there was a lot of pressure going into the game. Missed the first one but once I started getting a few over I felt much more comfortable. I was happy with the ones I got.”
Against Treviso, Jackson kicked 19 points from the boot but remained disappointed with aspects of his, and the team’s, performance.
“The result really is all that matters so it’s not the one we wanted. We have a pretty glum dressing room. It was a bit muddled up at times there. It was really just the turnovers, there were three in our 22. The ball just spilled out and they scored off each one of them, so that was pretty disappointing.
“They went down to 14 and we got a try. Things seemed to be going our way and then next minute we’re down a man. Like I said, just before half-time all we had to do was set up a ruck and kick it out and it was going to be half-time but the ball turned over again and they were in for a try to make it 17-10. I think that was a bit of a game-changer.”
Jackson was pleased, however, with his form off the boot, especially given the fact that he missed three off the tee against the Scots.
“I missed a few kicks and got some, so I was happy enough, yeah.”
(additional reporting from Megan Joyce)