Danny Wilson expressed his pride in the way his Cardiff Blues battled to a bonus point in Belfast - but admitted the Guinness PRO12 game had swung away his team after a series of defining events just before the break.
Fly half Rhys Patchell had kicked Cardiff Blues into a 9-5 lead in the first half at the Kingspan Stadium before late first half drama changed the face of the fixture.
A harsh penalty against Dan Fish - after a high ball contest - saw Ulster win back crucial possession with time almost up and kick to the corner to set-up a series of attacks.
Moments later, after Blues had bravely repelled several waves, Number Eight Josh Turnbull was yellow carded and Paul Marshall scored deep into injury time to spark three tries in ten minutes for the home side that took the game away from Wilson’s men.
“The decision just before the yellow card was the turning point for me,” said Wilson. “The high ball contest between the two players that saw us penalised - then we end up with a yellow card.
“I can’t argue with the yellow card, but a series of events leading up to it changed the game.
“We were 9-5 up at that point and then, during the yellow card, they score the points that took the game away from us.
“When we get 15 back on the field we are pretty good and came away with the bonus point.
“A lot of credit goes to the spirit within this young group of players,” he added.
“To come here and stay within a bonus point of them, when it looked a one point like Ulster could have run away with it, is pleasing.
“In terms of attitude to stay in the fight and get a bonus point, we have got to take positives. But the yellow card, and the management of the yellow card, ultimately cost us.
“The decision that it started with could have avoided the whole situation, but we have got to accept it, lick our wounds and it has been a tough run of games for us.
“I am proud of this group of players to come out here, keep travelling and stay within a bonus point of Ulster.
“We were right in it until the end with good go forward and pick and go rugby. It got us close to what I thought could have nicked us a draw.
“There is still a lot for us to learn in terms of management of yellow cards and sections of the game, but lots to take pride from.”