Ravenhill plays host to the first of the Irish provinces in the 2011/12 season as Connacht travel to Belfast for round eight of the Pro 12. Stephen Watson presents the action.
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This season started so brightly for Ulster, with three wins ml - - in a
row. Things were looking good. But then it all started to go horribly
wrong. Ulster lost to D of sprays grime of were slain by The Dragons,
turned over by Treviso for the very first time, and left with red faces
at the Scarlets last week. Tonight Ulster would try to get their
season back contract here at Ravenhill against Connaught. This
is the man Ulster Hall can rejuvenate them, John a full up
makes his eagerly anticipated debut. - - John a full. It is an Irish
Derby on Guy Fawkes night. Lucky that the Ulster mask what is called
Sparky! Welcome to Ravenhill for Ulster against Connaught. Kick-off
is in 10 minutes. Look out at half- time for a special feature with
Ulster hooker Rory Best. He gives us a unique insight into art - -
into his training regime. Joining me here tonight is Eddie O'Sullivan
and Andy Ward. Before we hear from you we will take a look at the
table, which does not make good reading for either of the teams
tonight. Connaught are marginally How important is a win for both of
these teams this evening? As I think it would be more important
for Connaught, as they have been Our real dip in form for Ulster,
and missing Ruan Pienaar, who will be out for up to six weeks. That is
a big blow. We have been looking forward to these World Cup players
coming back into the next, and with Ruan Pienaar to be sitting on the
sidelines means there is a month - - there is an opportunity for Paul
Marshall, so he needs a big night tonight. The hottest ticket in town
is for the MTV Music Awards. That is for tomorrow, and there are
plenty of new stars and show tonight. One of them is Ulster's
It has been full on. Coming straight off the plane. The boys
have been fantastic, cheering me through training. Everything I do
good they start clapping, and that is always good for the confidence.
I am struggling to remember all the names, but I am working on it.
what kind of game would you bring to Ulster? I want to be a rock at
the set-piece. The set piece is the key for most games, so scrum and
line-out. I want to bring good defensive line speed. Hopefully
score a few tries and hang it on the wing! We have seen some big
tries over the years, one against Wales a remember. Yes, indeed. I am
really begin forwards to playing some good gains here. I'm just
really excited to be here. What have you heard about Ravenhill?
bit of a fortress. I have met - - made - - met a lot of supporters
and they have been very welcoming. Straight into the starting line-up.
David Humphreys is talking live together and Andrews. How big a
boost is that they have John in action tonight? It is a huge boost.
The Irish players coming back has been a boost to the whole squad.
What about Stefan Terblanche and? Well, we will get him on a plane
hopefully early next week. Given the run of results, how significant
is tonight? Every results issue to significant. Tonight is a big game
because it is Connaught and there is a big log jam in the middle of
the table and we need a win to put us in the top half of the table.
Looking forward to the next couple of weeks, that's what we want to do.
John Afoa will only be here for a couple of weeks before he has to go
back to be best man at a friend's wedding before returning. How big a
lift is it to get in here for two games? A player of his calibre will
lift everybody, especially after winning the World Cup. It will give
energy to the team. I think you will have a big impact tonight's
and the other two front-row players are back from the World Cup, so
that will help as well. Jared Payne got injured and they have signed a
short-term replacement, Stefan Terblanche. When he comes, what
kind of impact can he bring? He has got a wealth of experience. He has
been around a long time. An international player and he is a
world-class player. He reads the game exceptionally well and is a
very balanced player, very composed. I think he will be a good servant.
He played 14 out of 16 games for the Sharks in the Currie Cup this
year and scored four tries on his debut against Ireland in 1998. It
is a short-term fix that the need with Jared Payne out. No question.
It is a good time to put this in now. They are heading into an
important part of the season. They need to get into the Heineken Cup
and make a good start. Hopefully he brings that extra spark. Can you
put your finger on what just as come wrong with Ulster and the last
four performances? It is hard to picture finger on it. They have
just got to be very composed. I think there has been a lack of
leadership collectively. A team full of Indians is better than a
team full of chiefs. How big a factor is a loss of confidence for
a team, which seems that Ulster had. It is not an unusual thing to
happen. It is about pulling together, the senior players taking
control and focusing on getting those results. It is a fine to
pinpoint. Once you get a few wins and your belt second run the other
way for a Jew. Rory Best and Stephen Ferris will be both out
tonight. The first time for Stephen in a long time. That has got to be
a big lift. Not just the fans, but also for a third team to. I am
looking forward to see if Rory Best can continue to form of this life
at the World Cup and bring it to Ravenhill. I thought Rory Best had
a world class World Cup. He is a leader, a talisman and he will lift
things, as well Stephen Ferris. a word on Connaught tonight? I am
surprised that the number of changes that have been made. And
they played well against Cardiff, so the form has been good. I am not
sure what Eric is thinking, and it is a bit surprising the line-up.
Were you surprised that Niall O'Connor did not start at Number
Ten for Connaught? A little bit. It is difficult to know maybe what is
going on, he could be carrying a few knocks. He has bedded himself
well in down at Connaught. They are in form. Ulster are fragile at the
minute. If Connaught get on top of them early, God knows what could
happen. We always loved Irish Macros. For Ulster this is very
important. They need a win to steady the nerves. The Heineken Cup
next it is very important and the need a good start at home for that.
Thank you both very much. Our commentary team is Ryan Constable,
the men from the West. A lovely crispy evening tonight. A couple of
changes in the pack. Thomas Anderson returns to Ravenhill.
Eoghan Grace also starts. Gavin Duffy is the skipper. It has been a
while since Connaught was ahead of Ulster in the table. This is an
Ulster side who will be desperate to put an end to an alarming slump.
The word crisis has not been used at this stage, but Ulster will not
want to lose five on the bounce after having won their first three
games. Rory Best and Stephen Ferris make this season's debuts after the
World Cup. Ruan Pienaar's injury means a recall for Paul Marshall.
Darren Cave gets the nod at outside centre. Simon Danielli is at
fullback for the second game in a row. There is in John, who has
swapped the All Blacks strip for the all-white strip. Had the
referee is from Tipperary. - - and of the kick-off, and Paul Marshall
puts plenty of height on that. Knocked forward by, it - - not
of the ball, but they did it illegally so the first penalty
ghost Ulster. Ulster look is that they mean business. By will
certainly be happy with the opening. A regulation take, I could kick and
now they have the penalty. A very positive start from Ulster.
Humphreys on a pretty perfect night for goal-kicking has elected to go
for the posts. He was looking forward to playing against his old
team-mates Niall O'Connor, but he That is not only a very good kick,
but such a confidence booster for himself and his team. Each could
see that impact Stephen Ferris can have, shrugging tackler as a way.
He can certainly inspire his team Great enterprise from Ulster, Paddy
Wallace, gets across the 22. Again, Paul Marshall Shipping to kick. And
that is what he does. Andrew Trimble but the chase. Wonderful
take from Shearer no Harron. -- O'Hanlon. Could take from Simon
Danielli. Plenty of support in white journeys. Jerseys. Humphreys
was well covered by Wilkinson. good hands, identifying the overlap
and preserving the space on the outside. Those magic feet, very
good tackle. They could have taken a couple of the back row forwards
But that was the Kevin -- clever kick into space. That almost worked
out nicely. Heavy kick from Petrie Bannenberg. He likes to run-up the
opposition players. He took his eye off that for a second. That is good
support from the men in green. Ulster trying to squeeze towards
the touchline. And the ball was held off the ground. The referee
has given the scrum to Ulster. So, the Defence working well as well.
The line speed has been one of the key features of Ulster over the
last few years and that is one of the key aspects you look for at the
beginning of the game. That get their first few of the
scrummaging ability of the New Zealand World Cup winner. That was
untidy. Just a fraction closer. Keep your head and shoulders above
the hips. Tom Court, pressed into service at short notice last week,
the tight-head prop, because of the failure of Declan Fitzpatrick. He
did pretty well at loose end. Against the youngster from New
Zealand. Rodney Ah You. He has taken the Irish international
straight down. I think it is a bit far out to contemplate going for
the post. The angle is mitigating against that. They will try to get
at line-out working and an opportunity for the drive and try
to establish some dominance up front. No angle to work with but
Ian Humphreys has put in a very good kick and has put Ulster into a
very good attacking position. Seven minutes played. Ulster have taken a
couple of players out of the line- out. One of them, ominously,
Stephen Ferris. Rory Best. Pedrie Wannenburg. Untidy. John a full
well. Plenty of support from his new team-mates. Rory Best. That
great World Cup he had in every aspect of the game. Trimble. Simon
Danielli, managed to give it away to Craig Gilroy but it was forward.
Good defence from Connacht. They came up quickly and did not break
their line at all. The second man, trying to get around the corner but
read very well. Andrew Trimble just offloading. He tips the ball off to
Craig Gilroy. The referee has got around to the side were the ball
has been put in. The loose-head side. Brett Wilkinson is up against
John Afoa. Ulster get that early squeeze. Interesting that he
brought them back and they have taken a quick tap. It was made in
front of the referee. Not much option but to go to the end.
Underneath, Simon Danielli. Andrew Trimble supporting. Here is Stephen
Ferris. Well taken by another Irish international. Dan Tuohy. Also need
the quick ball and they have got it. Nicely done. Just gets inside
Wilkinson. Support from Stephen Ferris. Dan Tuohy, again. Johann
Muller is there. Humphreys. Paddy Wallace. How delicately placed is
that? Very. No, it's not! I thought that was in. It has gone straight
into touch. From here, it looked like Paddy Wallace had put in the
most delicate of kicks. Small margins on that occasion. Just a
little too much. Reports from the assistant referee... There might
have been a high tackle on the part of Rodney Ah You. Kay 10 down,
please. -- keep them down. He has been told exactly what that was
four. In goes Stephen Ferris. It was marginal. I have seen a lot
worse being let go. Stephen Ferris is none the worse for that.
Tactically correct but not too much damage done. Ulster having a good
run of possession, here. They need to turn some of that possession
into territory. That was a good kick from Paddy Wallace. The only
Ulster man to be involved in three Rugby World Cups. He did not get
much time in any of them. Rory Best. He did not get that one right. That
was a good steal from Connacht. Penalty against Ulster for coming
in the side. Oh! That isn't like Johann Muller. Something has really
annoyed him. Fisticuffs breaking out. Former team-mates having a
real go. It must have been something quite serious to prompt
him to swing his fist. It will be interesting to see what the referee
says... Excuse me... Move back. Five? 7 Kay men after the initial,
from the distance. Did he make contact? I did not say. Yes? OK.
Yes, perfect. Captains? Come here. No. 7 from one side or the other
came in a legally, it seems. penalty will remain from the side.
You stay away and the next player who gets involved, I will have no
option. Have a word. Have a word. Let us see what happened... That is
what the penalty was for. I am not sure what prompted the fisticuffs.
Johann Muller had a swing at somebody. He must have felt that
something had gone on that he was not happy with. Who knows what they
get up to within those tight exchanges. The result is a penalty
standing with Connacht. They have not had much ball in the opening 10
minutes. I'm sure he has got himself back to his normally
composed self-. Not the greatest piece of possession. Connacht have
lost 10 metres. George Naoupu. Born in Christchurch. Could offer it.
Some thrust from Connacht. Paul O'Donohue. Adrian Flavin. They have
got themselves a penalty. And the referee has asked Paul O'Donohoe to
come back. Connacht are not happy with that. Some needle coming into
this game. Yes, it is an awards ceremony tomorrow night in Belfast
but that one could have been a nomination. It was a little tap and
they made the most of it. What happened to him? Johann Muller just
gave 10 and shelve and down he went. -- gave him a shove. I do not know
if he would even get nominated for that one! It is the second penalty
given away by Ulster, probably unnecessarily. Connacht have
advanced into the Ulster 22 for the first time. Paddy Wallace's father.
Just on the left-hand side. I am not sure who the pretty lady in
pink is. It is important for Ulster to concentrate on the basics. They
cannot let any unsettling attacks from Connacht disrupt their
continuity. Adrian Flavin, taking his time. Ulster grappling a way.
Connacht moving forward. That was good possession from Connacht.
Rodney Ah You, quite explosive from a standing start. George Naoupu.
Watkinson is in there. This is a good piece of play from the
forwards from Connacht. Miah Nikora. Nearly the intercept. Well taken by
Darren Cave. Paul O'Donohoe again. Beaten by Stephen Ferris. Miah
Nikora, nearly three. Well covered by Pedrie Wannenburg. Good
continuity from Connacht. And they are still pressing. Paul O'Donohoe.
Brett Wilkinson, the veteran. Ulster have conceded another
penalty. Paul O'Donohoe. Michael Swift. This is great stuff from
Connacht. Miah Nikora. Craig Gilroy. He just about got away with that.
That will be interesting. When the referee bring them back for the
penalty? I think so. It will be a penalty to Connacht at the other
side of the park. Dangerous times for Ulster. Paul O'Donohoe are
doing very well around the fringes, he is stepping himself and creating
opportunities and that was a nasty moment for Ulster, were recovered
by Craig Gilroy. The much more experienced Frank Murphy had a
number of years playing in the English Premiership but Paul
O'Donohoe has certainly justified Ulster had been on the back for it
ever since, mainly thanks to mistakes and penalties. Miah Nikora
has the chance to put some points on the board. Not a breath of wind
at Ravenhill. He turned away as soon as he had hit it. That brings
it back to level pegging. What Connaught are doing well are
sending runners of the fringes. They are getting over the advantage
line and that is creating the unsettled defence and Ulster are
trying to slow possession down around Iraq and are being penalised
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 47 seconds
of Ulster can move this. Tom Court was just back in the middle of that
and slowed everything up. Still against Connaught. Taken quickly by
Marshall. Pedrie Wannenburg could just not quite hold. It is going to
be at Connaught scrum. Increasing the tempo is incredibly important
for Ulster. Stephen Ferris offloading their, and they were
unable to hold its, unfortunately. It is that tempo that they need in
their game. Good covering their by seems like he has been around for
ever. He has played over 113 league games for Connaught. Unfortunately,
Michael Swift is going off. That will not do it the Connaught said
peace any good. He is such a great scrummager. Dave Gannon is coming
on to play his 59th league game for Connaught. John Muldoon is a back-
row forwards and has also on the bench for Connaught. This is a
chance for Ulster to put on some pressure. There is still fun and
games going on and decide between Rodney Ah You and Tom Court. The
pitch is starting to cut up pretty slightly, it is in good condition
but it is soft after all the rain George Naoupu did very well to
clean all that up for Connaught. Once again Ulster have taken
Stephen Ferris and Chris Henry out Great defence by them. Can they
hanging on to him. I'm not sure he was meant to be chasing that kick,
Rory Best was probably not the one intended. Connaught are coping well
with the pressure, but if you spend enough time defending in your own
22, it is inevitable that you will start to his give up points. That
was nicely struck by Ian Humphreys. This time Connaught shortened line-
Holding On, says the referee. And yes, Johann Muller hanging on to
the arm of his opposite number. He will have no complaints about that.
All the pressure now coming from Ulster, and it has to be converted
pretty soon. A couple of turnovers at the breakdown, technical
infringements, that is just increasing the pressure. Connaught
defend very well. They don't have outstanding individual players, but
they are coached well and are a good unit. They have three
internationals in their starting 15 as opposed to 11 from Ulster. Good
interception by Ulster. That is another good kick by Ian Humphreys.
Turnover ball, he looked at the options and decided to put it deep.
Once again, it is building pressure and maintaining their position
inside the 22. A week ago that tactical kicking from Ulster was a
A very good all-round footballer, Gavin Duffy. He has won 10 caps for
Ireland. Interestingly, he has never played at home for Ireland's.
At very confident footballer. He seems to be very composed, what
ever he is doing. He is one of the be a penalty to Ulster. Good to see
Simon Danielli wanting to get involved. He had a difficult week
last week, but it was difficult for everybody. He is really pitting
some speed on the ball and allowing players to take angles of them.
Ulster have not been able to dominate the breakdown area and get
the clean ball they require. That discussing some of the finer points
of scrummaging. Rory Best had an outstanding World Cup campaign and
a lot of people in the media talking about him being the best
hooker at the World Cup. So, Ian Humphreys from the opposite fight -
- opposite side of the field from have got to get all your penalties.
If he sold the game last night between Leinster and Munster, Jonny
sexting got seven penalties out of seven and that is the sort of
return you would expect from your number one goalkeeper. - - goal
low, as that is the only way to off the ball, and now the referee
line-out. 28 minutes played and it is still honours even. Ulster just
have not been able to get past the third or 4th fears. Connacht - -
they are defending very well against Ulster. Rory Best having a
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 47 seconds
on the part of Ulster not going to is nicely done by Tiernan
O'Halloran. Pedrie Wannenburg did enough to slow up the attack. Great
action from the hooker. Adrian Flavin. 32 years of age. Mike
McCarthy. And that could Ulster Defence forces him to kick but he
has kicked very well. Taken quickly by Ulster. Simon Danielli. The
Ulster forwards have had to bond a long way back. -- wrong. Ian
Humphreys, waiting to receive the ball from Paul Marshall. It will go
to one of the tight forwards. Better position for Paul Marshall.
He keeps it infield. Paul O'Donohoe. Here is Paul Hanlon. Fetu'u
Vainikolo. Can Ulster turn this one over? Brian Tuohy goes then. Paul
O'Donohoe has a little glance. Well covered by David Humphreys. Awarded
the mark of the fair catch. Simon Danielli. It has not carried into
touch. That was cleverly done. Well read by Paul Marshall. He took the
tackle well. Knocked forward by Connacht. Advantage to Ulster. And
it will be the Ulster scrum. Quite scrappy. Not a huge amount of play
going on. Three or four phases a little errors creeping in. Nobody
is stamping authority on two things. Tom Court down. But that was a bit
problem. Paul Marshall, a remarkably has put in an
extraordinary sequence, he has been in every match-day squad for the
last 37 games. 30 last year. He started the first six and had to
give way to Ruan Pienaar. He has a nasty hamstring injury. He
certainly will miss the opening Heineken Cup games. Here in a few
weeks and then after that, against the Leinster Tigers. He has had a
difficult time. But his service has been very good. Certainly stepping
up to the plate tonight. Maybe it is more than a problem with Tom
Court's but. He must get up. Straight back into the scrum. Tom
Court had a very good game a tight head last week. And a very good
World Cup for Ireland. He must be the warmest person in Ravenhill!
Just over seven minutes remaining. It has been a very scrappy first
half at Ravenhill. The front row have got their act together. Good
show from Ulster. Knocked forward by Connacht. Paul Marshall has
taken too much out of the ball. Ulster had the dominant scrum, it
was moving forward and then it got scrappy and Ulster were probably
too dominant for their own good on that occasion. They have another
chance. The referee says, good scrum. Will they maintain their
ball. Ian Humphreys, not standing at outside-half. Here goes Darren
Cave. Taken by Eoghan Grace. The referee has got in the way. Penalty
against Connacht, taken quickly by Paul Marshall. Here is Pedrie
Wannenburg. Simon Danielli in the middle of that. Rory Best. He takes
the tackle. Paul Marshall again. Here is David Humphreys. More
promising. The referee says play on. That has gone amiss. Paul Marshall
has picked it up. There is a great chance for Ulster. Here comes Simon
Danielli! His foot on the gas. Chris Henry. Played on. Quicker
ball for Ulster. David Humphreys. That was a good transfer. Knocked
forward by Darren Cave and the try was there for the taking. An Ulster
seemingly very nervous and not quite able to put that final
crucial scoring pass together. There was a real lack of composure.
Simon Danielli moved it forward, it looked like he would get around and
then the recycled ball and that huge overlap. Stephen Ferris,
preserving the space. And just not going to hand. Symptomatic of
Ulster this evening, small mistakes robbing them of that next phase and
being able to get that scoring opportunity. When you do not take
them, you tend to get frustrated and force things. Ulster will have
to force this that they are going pack. Connacht more than standing
up to them. Ulster will need that next week against term want. They
love to scrummage. Watching Leinster against London Irish
earlier, there was a penalty try from the scrum and a couple against
the head. The Hansson investigation of that ahead of them. -- they have
some. A couple of minutes before the interval. That was a good shove
by Ulster. Into touch. And the referee has awarded the line-out
because it came off the Connacht player. Ulster would prefer that
because they have more options. It should release the Ulster back line.
So far, they have not made much of a dent in the Connacht defence.
Without the lion's share of possession, will they have the
energy to insure the about a defence they have had to take in
the first half? Stephen Farrans, the assessed. Paul Marshall. Pedrie
Wannenburg. Nicely done by Paddy Wallace. He needs the quick ball
and they have got it. Humphreys. Darren Cave. Nobody really in the
right position to receive the pass. Paul Marshall might switch to his
right. It is a bit slow. Connacht have had time to stream the men
across. Simon Danielli. Pedrie Wannenburg. Too far away from the
heart of the action. Tom Court, likewise. Better a ball from Ulster.
Rory Best. He scored the try against Connacht last season in
this very fixture at Ravenhill. Here comes Humphreys! Gilroy! The
first try. What a score from the youngster! His second of the season.
And all that Ulster pressure and this time they kept their composure
and they put the passes together and it was just about perfect. A
exactly what Ulster needed, to score going into half-time. Rory
Best drives at forward and then managed to get possession. Then Ian
Humphreys and that little inside ball, clever run from Trimble.
Halting the Connacht defence. Maybe some interference but you take what
you can get. And an excellent finish from Craig Gilroy. He really
has a great guy and a nose for this. It was clever-dick called. That was
now on perfect. And he finishes very cleverly. -- cleverly called.
He has only got one try this season He has gone the other side. So, one
kick out of three attempts for Ian Humphreys. But the crucial time is
that period of five minutes before and after the interval. An Ulster
have taken advantage. They will be reasonably happy. That might just
to reassure them and give them more composure on the ball. They are not
searching for that try, they have established the lead and able want
to take that into the second half. They do not want to concede
anything silly. Paul Marshall. He has put that into the atmosphere,
somewhere. Paul Marshall having a word with his back line. Craig
Gilroy standing on the outside-half position. Well taken by Connacht.
Paul O'Donohoe. Miah Nikora has to juggle. Duffy uses that great
strength of his. The referee says the word more. And Ulster have held
Duffy off the ground. In goes Mike McCarthy. If they stop, the referee
will give the scrum to Ulster. And that should be half-time. Good
defensive play from Ulster. And although Ulster had the advantage,
they will not try for anything more. And that is the end of a very
scrappy first half. Bright and by that Craig Gilroy attempt at the
end. And that unconverted try from Craig Gilroy sees Ulster are going
in for a much-needed break and a It is Guy Fawkes' Night, we were
expecting fireworks. With the debut of the World Cup winner and World
Cup stars returning but as yet there have not been too many
fireworks except for the last couple of minutes. Ian Humphreys
with that solid penalty. The touchpaper was lit momentarily.
That soon fizzled out. Some pressure from Connacht leading to
three points. Miah Nikora slotting over that very nice kick. And
eventually, just before half-time, all that Ulster pressure paid off
with Craig Gilroy preaching the defence. And that separates the
sides at half-time. 8 - 3. Eddie O'Sullivan and Andy Ward have been
watching with me. Give me a assessment. Up until that score it
was pretty poor. Some huff and puff but going nowhere. Early in the
have, also played too much in their own half and they give away silly
penalties. But then they turned round and played for position and
put the pressure on, and eventually got that try but it did need to
arrive before half-time and they have their foothold now. A Ulster
dominating possession. Does the team still look lacking in
confidence? Very much so. They really need to get forward with the
ball. Ulster at their best when the ball comes out quickly. Paul
Marshall needs to get the ball away quickly. There are a lot of players
who want to go forward but it's not happening. Ulster deserving of
their lead at half-time? Yes, they deserve to lead and they should be
ahead by more. There have been occasions when Connacht have been
for the taking. Silly mistakes, fumbles, and Connacht got off the
hook. It takes pressure off them going into the half-time. It has
been pretty scrappy. When they get the quick ball, they are effective?
Just slowing them down. Craig Gilroy comes down nicely. Uses his
feet. There was that build up. They know what they're trying to achieve.
What about Kilroy? Perfect finishing. He changes direction and
scores really well. He had a line very well. That was a well-taken
try and force you can hold onto the ball, when they get into that
strikes and, they have the players. But they have to hold onto the ball.
Plenty of ball. As we can see... This sums up their night. Nothing
was really going well. Nothing going right. Ian was up on his own.
Not having the bounce of the ball. There is no real penetration. Those
last couple of passes, that was 50 - 50. That could have gone anywhere.
But they have regained this. Darren Cave is a good player but he should
have taken that ball. It is all about possession and building
momentum and pressure. Those little mistakes, they are symptomatic of a
team getting frustrated. They know they should be playing better. They
were snatching up the ball a key moments. They have to hold on. Just
keep the pressure on Connacht and the opportunities will arise. If
they get another score in the second half they can relax but
Connacht have also made their mark, they have defended well and have
held onto the ball. They have not been a real threat. Only when
Ulster got sloppy. But if Ulster trust themselves on the defence,
they cannot worry too much. But they have to hold composure.
Ulster tried to throw the ball around too much? -- are also
trying? Ian Humphreys was very smart, he got field position and
they did create chances. It is those little mistakes. Those forced
opportunities. They have got their hold on the game. This was one of
the best moments. The opportunity was there. And they responded. Just
hold your head, do not force anything. Connacht were in big
trouble. It is all about having patience, you put teams under
pressure by holding onto the ball and then they start to panic.
Ulster are just coughing this up a little bit too much. Ulster are at
their best when they're going forward. Forcing passes. Those tiny
things. Those are the small turning-points. They were trying so
hard to get their form. You have to play into it. When Ulster made
mistakes, Connacht tried to capitalise and played some good
territory? It is hard to control the game. This was after a number
of phases. Connacht got onto the front foot and they do hold onto
the ball well. This was speculative. But that was on the back of the
penalty so it did seem like 50 - 50. That led to those three points. If
you put Connacht in field position, like earlier in the game, not
trusting defence and giving away silly penalties, they will hold
onto the ball and force you into mistakes. At that point, you have
to worry for Ulster. But Ulster have to build on this and they
score early in the second half, they can have victory but they must
again get back into this game of wearing down Connacht. No silly
stuff. What have you made of your fellow Kiwi, John a full? Very good,
the scrum has been a major concern. It is good to see that it has been
sure-footed. There is a good platform, it looks solid and
threatening. That is a good thing. That is an international front row
and that is what Ulster needs. is talented. As good as you'll find
in Europe. You can see come out being put under terrible pressure
and they are struggling. It depends on how many scrums. It becomes a
major issue when five metres from the line. The scrum is a good
platform. The line-out has been a fee for both sides. -- the line-out
has been problematic. Other than that, he has done well. Everybody
wants to see him running. He is a good footballer. Even though he has
number three on his back, he is comfortable with the ball and his
hand and that is one thing you get from the southern hemisphere. They
are as comfortable as the winners on the ball. That can only be good
for Ulster in due course. Thank you. We always want to hear from you.
Send your thoughts to Twitter. One player who has enhanced his
reputation is Rory Best. And with many pundits he was on their team
of the tournament. Gavin Andrews Rory Best enjoys a quiet life off
the pitch. But things are very different on the pitch. What a try!
On the family farm outside Banbridge, he mucks in but rugby is
never far away from his thoughts. This conversion is a one-off.
is already a lot of practice, it takes the elements out of it. I can
come home from training and do my own practice. I can spend an hour
every evening just throwing 80 balls and trying to get everything
right for Saturday night. Basically, it is an old been from the farm,
and myself and my father modified this so that I could throw lots of
balls. I think I can see the benefits. From the tail-end of last
season, the Six Nations, the line- outs went well. Myself and Stephen
are coming back in, we have been part of the Ireland team that went
very well and then lost in the quarter-final. We have enjoyed some
unbelievable highs but also a few lows. We felt that we should be in
the top four. And we have not taken that. It was disappointing. It was
great that so many people turned up and they said that we did the
country proud. But it was strange because we did not see it that way.
We really felt that it was a chance that had gone by. And we let
everyone down. There are very few things that are more important than
rugby but you feel that you let your family down whenever you sun
comes over and gives you a big hug and your father round your wife
tell you how well you have done. You can take some solace from that.
For a split-second you forget about it. It is great winning things for
Ireland but there is something extra special trying to win
something with Ulster. Sometimes it is too much of a fantasy when it
comes to getting stuck in with the forwards. But when you go away from
it, there is that mindset that you should be going out to hurt teams
and that you heard them in the first minute, you can do it. This
Ulster team is more than capable. That is what Ulster will be looking
for in the second half. Leinster and Munster were back in action at
last night at the Aviva Stadium. And it was Jonathan Sexton who
kicked seven penalties out of seven. And that helped Leinster keep
bragging rights and Rob Kearney also dropped a fantastic drop goal
to help Leinster to that 24 - 19 victory and that helps keep
Leinster top of the table. 8 - 3 at half-time. The next score will be
critical? I think so, it will be the big difference. If Ulster score
early on, they should win the game comfortably but if Connacht score,
it is back on. Ulster are being fickle with their confidence.
Ulster need to pick up where they left out. They need to kick on from
here. To see that confidence coming back. Thank you. The Ulster crowd
are in good voice tonight at the Ulster rugby headquarters. Back to
European Cup campaign will be over. An Ulster are really using this as
a dress rehearsal to take on a mighty Clermont. This man will
certainly be needed against the French giants because they can
scrummage like nobody else. And they have to go without John a full
offer that game against the Leinster Tigers. Will they be happy
and 40 minutes? We are about to confident start by Ulster. Yes, an
excellent restart. For Ulster there is a number of players coming back
into the fold. New players arriving. They have to assimilate into the
team. They looked nervous on the ball. They will look for more
confidence in what they're doing in the second half. They are coming
back for the line-out to Ulster inside the Connacht 22. It was hit
by a Connacht lake and therefore the ball was effectively carried
back inside the 22 and the direct kick into touch meant that Ulster
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Tom Court who has done it. Excellent composure from Ulster.
They established their territory, went around the fringes in pairs
and eventually just broke down this Connacht defence. Composure is the
key. A real intensity of purpose in Tom Court had set it up. He did not
rest on his laurels at all. He is lurking with serious intent and
squeezed underneath for the second Ulster try of the evening. That is
what we talk about, composure on the ball, no panic, throwing the
ball out to the backs. The forwards knew if they maintained possession
and went through the phases, eventually connect running out of
numbers. He has enjoyed that, as all prop forwards do. By the time
he gets home he will have run in for his own 22. How did you do
that? We will talk about that later UN Ulster stand. It is looking a
missed two of the three in the first half, that is the way to
electronic clock. We will try to keep you up-to-date. We have played
about four minutes in the second half. Ulster have increased their
and the first chance from this particular viewpoint does the the
players. The problem seems to be the... The referee goes round to
gained and celebrating with his 6th league try. Referee Rat Pack --
REFEREE: Once the ball is square and steady weekend scrum, OK? Clear.
Let him get his boys. The referee insisting that Tom Court be allowed
to get his bang in. It is difficult Connacht will get a foot into the
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from playing professional rugby and go back to his medical studies
because of an ongoing hip problem. Thomas Anderson also played in that
side. Some excellent work there by Trimble. It was either Wallace or
another player holding up the Connacht player. A couple of times
they have done that, keep the player off the ground. It is
therefore a maul. The FT goes to left-hand corner of your screen.
Cent -- seven 1/2 minutes played in Ulster crowd. The referee is
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Ulster. Chris Henry has up and fit again. It is going to be an Ulster
line-out. A good passage of play by Ulster. A opportunistic, Ulster
floating, running from depth and pace. Good support lines. Whilst
playing the advantage the move breaking down. Eric Elwood, the
former Irish international, Ireland's number one and number ten
in the 1995 World Cup in South Africa, took over the reins at
Connacht from Michael Bradley, who Good covering back by Connacht.
Great support played by Paddy Wallace for Ulster. There was a
great chance here, ferries had a little bit of a cheque and stepped
back inside and again, Ulster recycling the ball. There was a
decent chance here, a forward pass there and it did not make a false -
- it did not make the task any easier and he could not get it away
to Craig Gilroy and the advantage was lost. He read it well
defensively. We see Chris Henry receiving treatment. There was a
clash with the man we seen leaving Rogers. The South African from east
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took his eye off the ball slightly and spilled at Ford and the referee
will give the scrum to connect. disappointing end to a promising
passage of play by Ulster. Excellent ball security in the face
of stern defence by Connacht, going through the phases. Throwing the
dummy, the ball coming out of the hands. Here's looking for Simon
Danielli to come in on the angle at got a consolation pat on the head
by his team-mate. The crowd have more to get enthusiastic about.
That is the replacement Connacht prop who is on, Dylan Rogers. A 27-
year-old from East London. From South Africa. Rory Best having a
book replacement and another couple have Connacht replacements coming
on. Two more in the front row, but those collisions. They were getting
the ascendancy in the breakdown. That is allowing them to get
football, that is when they are dangerous. Connacht quite
rightfully reacting to bat with fresh substitutes. Two of the more
experienced members of Connacht's front row players, Brett Wilkinson
and love-in going off. It is an entirely new Connacht front row
against this international Costa the ground. They have done well to
get that back, Connacht. It is safe for Connacht. 15 - 3. Humphreys.
Stephen Frears, he seemed to lose his footing. Paul Marshall. Simon
Danielli. Andrew Trimble! Well, he did that well. Paul Marshall did
even better. Tom Court, somebody is injured for Ulster. Simon Danielli.
And again, Connacht have managed to get themselves into a very good
defensive position. Chris Henry. He does well. Stephen Ferris is down
and injured. And are very concerned referee has penalised Ulster
underneath the posts. Stephen Ferris is down. I do not think it
is his knee, it is the ankle. That isn't good news. His feet went from
underneath him. We were looking on. He'd just slips on the foot. That
looked absolutely awful. That is his ligament. Having lost Jared
Payne and Ruan Pienaar. And Stephen Ferris is up. You would really have
expected somebody to come on with and gone and put him out of his
misery but it is a long way from that. Will he stay on? I think so.
15 - 3. Ulster will be Conservative if there is any doubt. Stephen
Ferris has obviously said to the medical staff, let me get on with
it. Because he is desperate to play for Ulster. He has not played for
Ulster sense that away game when he got himself injured. It looks like
Connacht are making another change. It might be John Muldoon coming on,
vastly experienced. Connacht have cleared their lines and they have
got the line-out. Off goes a Eoghan Grace, John Muldoon welcome on.
Mike McCartney might go on to the second row. Best, did well. He set
that up nicely. Dan Tuohy. One of his quieter evening. Paul Marshall.
Well taken, lovely offload by it Stephen Ferris. Paul Marshall again.
Paddy Wallace. Disjointed by Ulster and this is Pedrie Wannenburg.
Connacht, right on the line. David Humphreys. There were four men
outside him. Tom Court was down and injured. And Connacht have turned
that one over. Good work. Tries to turn Paddy Wallace. Did he step in
to touch? It was pretty close. In less but well gathered in. And
gather into touch. Now, concern over Tom Court? The medical staff
being called on to the pitch. Some tired bodies out there., it will
feel worse than Ulster given the amount of defensive work they have
had to go through and Ulster will look to capitalise on that in the
last 25 minutes. Ian Porter is coming on. Robbie Diack is coming
on. And Paddy McCallister, likewise. Tom Court isn't ready to go off. If
there is any doubt, they really need Stephen Ferris. Robbie Diack
has come on. Lots of changes being made. Taken on by Dave McSharry. 21
years of age. And he has a lot of support. All of us carry on, it is
disrupting Ulster a little bit. They have to regain composure. This
certainly have been in the ascendancy for a little while.
Defensively, they have held the player up. Paddy Wallace and Ian
Humphreys, ably assisted by Craig Gilroy on that occasion. Preparing
to concede that not letting the ball get to ground. Tom Court is
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Pedrie Wannenburg staying. On the Connacht. That was a very good kick
Afoa. That has been a very satisfactory debut. He had a very
long flight earlier this week and he has gone straight into the
jersey. Some light touch us around the pack and as he gets more
familiar with Ulster, I am sure we will see more of him.
understanding the local dialect! That was a good line-out from
Connacht. Paul O'Donohoe. Ulster up very quickly and they're holding up
the Connacht player. I think it was Fetu'u Vainikolo. Back on to the
Ulster side. Rory Best looked around to see if there was any
support. Porter. Dan Tuohy. He is having a bigger influence on this
game. Connacht have got to get those men out of the way. And there
was a bit of nonsense involving Pedrie Wannenburg. That was a good
pick up from Darren Cave. Back inside. He could not quite get that
pass. And it has been nudged forward yet again and that is maybe
the third half decent scoring chance that Ulster have put down.
Darren Cave has been very good in this game with his offloading, he
carries the ball with two hands. Excellent pick up. He keeps the
ball alive in the tackle. Simon Danielli going to ground.
Unfortunately for Ulster, not going to hand. It might well have come
off that Connacht player. Paddy Wallace could not quite gather.
Scrum to Ulster. Tom Court struggling. Good to see Darren Cave
back and playing. We did not see much of him last season because of
injury. Nevin Spence played 22 successive games for Ulster. This
is the first time this season that Darren Cave has got the nod for the
outside centre position. It is the one he prefers most. Only Rory Best
stays in the position he was in when the game started. This is
enterprising indeed. Dave McSharry taken underneath his own posts. The
visitors have the ball. And he kicks. Simon Danielli calls for
this. Backed up nicely from Andrew Trimble. Good strong, surging run.
He had such an outstanding series of internationals. Pedrie
Wannenburg. That was a clever switch from Porter. Back inside to
Robbie Diack. The tackle was fine. Probably Diack has done well. Paddy
McCallister. The vastly improving prop forward. Making life so
difficult for Ulster at the breakdown. Good driving. And
clearing out from Ulster. Still going forward. Dan Tuohy has done a
lot of hard work. Humphreys. The door was shot in his face.
McAllister could not hold that. He was probably in two minds, whether
to let it go or not. Good pressure coming from Ulster. Once again,
they are in Connacht territory, inside the 22 I'm going through
multiple phases. And come out are doing very well not to let the
floodgates open. 90 minutes left. Ulster really starting to dominate.,
it might get that changed on the outside half and here is a very
familiar face. Niall O'Connor. The six-times capped Irish
international playing his 7th game of the season for Connacht and a
man who played no fewer than 52 games for Ulster in his years here.
with the men outside. Darren Cave and Andrew Trimble asking for him
to come up just a little bit. If come out want to win this game,
they will have to try to run this. They have to work their way up the
pitch and be fairly pragmatic and start denying Ulster any chance to
capitalise on mistakes. Connacht, taken quickly. They try to run it.
Fetu'u Vainikolo. Paul O'Donohoe. Niall O'Connor. Quickly away. That
was a very good pass from Niall O'Connor. Good tackling from Andrew
Trimble. Paul O'Donohoe. Paddy McCallister with the tackle.
Dangerous, but it has worked out well. Tiernan O'Halloran. Not the
greatest pass in the world but it was taken well. And he was forced
to kick it straight into touch. Lots of enterprise from Connacht.
You have to give them a fair round of applause. It is the first time
we have really see then use the width available to them, side to
side and a lot of speculative passes thrown in. Very well
executed to promote the ball up to the halfway line. Frank Murphy
coming on. Paul O'Donohoe, who played very well, gives way to the
man that he replaced in this game. 29 years of age. Frank Murphy. 16
League games for colic. -- Connacht. Porter. Pedrie Wannenburg. They
have not really made any ground for that set-piece, Ulster. Well taken
from Dan Tuohy. Porter. Better pass to Humphreys. Now, Paddy Wallace.
Well covered by Tiernan O'Halloran. That was a good strike. The main
man in the number 15 jersey for a number of years. Tom Court. He is
fine and I also hope Stephen for us will be fine. These men will be
crucial to the European campaign for Ulster, which begins next week.
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They seem to be enjoying their monstrous tackle and Ulster will be
delighted to get the put-in to the scrum but they are coming under
pressure and about 12 minutes remaining. Yes, it looked like a
Macklin it was, he took a big hit, managed to hold on to the boot
laces. We have seen in that passage of play Gavin Duffy coming at pace
very direct, met Cherie doing the same thing. That is what Connacht
have needed. They have looked fairly impotent in the midfield but
all the sudden they're getting football, running on the pace,
dominating the collision. They look to have ignited. Stephenson has
come on and TUPE has had another busy evening, he has left the field
Ulster skipper. In his first asked season in his native province.
impressive form, Macklin, 22 years Vainikolo was concerned. Ian
Humphreys, a smile of relief, I think. If Connacht had scored
through that passage of play it would have made foreign interesting
closure to this game but Ulster clearly in the ascendancy on the
scoreboard. They have a 12 point buffer. They don't need to do
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anything speculative. They can concede the penalty, that is what
he did for Ireland always through the World Cup. He acts like that
forced Beck Row, very good over the ball and strength, you can see
affecting the tackle. Good technique, shows some space and
over the ball, forcing the penalty. He forces the Connacht player to
Humphreys. We're into the last ten minutes of this game. Ulster
leading 15-three. On Bonfire Night, time to celebrate Hallowe'en here
more than anything else. What a lovely sight in the Belfast skyline.
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I hope they have a permit for that! are boos but from the Ulster crowd
towards John Lacey. We have seen what they are capable of, they will
have to build on that when they play the heavyweights of Europe,
and other fixtures to come later in the year. If they can get that the
quick ball we have seen the news so effectively, bring in the likes of
Trimble and Kilroy out wide, Ulster will move into next week with some
confidence buoyed from a much- needed victory. Good to see so many
Connacht supporters have made the journey from the much more
front row, Ulster with two. McAllister and Mac, the future for
Ulster. They are decent prospects, are they? Very impressive physical
specimens. They will be learning the art of scrummaging. They have
had BJ Botha's tutelage and Tom Court has established himself on
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the international scene and has the referee decides before they went to
ground that Connacht had done enough to warrant the put into the
scrum. Connacht's defence has been very impressive. Yes, of standing,
given the number of phases they have been forced to defend throat -
- outstanding. They have had personal changes but they have
slotted into the system. You are looking into defence, it does not
get any better than that. Andrew Trimble realising the threat and
neutralising it was perfect effect. point of view, if we can be so bold
us to say that Ulster are going to win the game, is that they have
stopped a rather alarming downward spiral. They will move ahead of
Connacht in the league table but they will be in the bottom half of
Trust. Penalty against Macklin, for taking that down. Getting his elbow
tucked in a little bit and causing the Connacht loose-head to buckle
in would. O'Connor to make some ground for his new province. Not
his greatest contact but he has seen a change in the attacking
fortunes of Connacht, playing with a lot more rhythm, more direct from
the runners and they have made some incursions into the defensive line,
unable to convert those into any meaningful points. One or two
eyebrows were raised when the Connacht starting 15 worry now
stand it wasn't Frank Murphy and injured. It might be more. But he
very interesting. Wallace is pretty good at every ball game, whether it
is a round ball or an over ball. -- oh well ball. That would have been
worthy of a soccer-style striker. He could not quite control it.
wonder whether Duffy may have been looking out of the corner of his
iron case Trimble was coming flying in to nullify another attack.
photographer getting a snap or two very well to the weather but also
recovery from the very nasty leg injury sustained at the start of
last season. He missed just about He had to stretch for that.
running lines disrupt a little bit by the retreating scrum and never
really regained their composure whispering that there are two
minutes of regulation time and I'm pretty sure the great John West,
one of the best referees Ireland produced down the years, will not
good stuff, Dave McSharry. Still plenty of energy in the Connacht
side. This is Niall O'Connor. Not his greatest kick. And a bit of a
ride bald cheers from the Ulster fans. The man they used to applaud
on a regular basis. Down the narrow side, nothing available. Enter the
last minute. Niall O'Connor again. He steps inside. That was good
covering from Stephenson. And there is time for Connacht to go for the
corner and tried to force the line- out. But he must give credit to
them, it has been a spirited performance and Ulster will
obviously when this game but, to have made it very difficult through
their application in defence and it had been limited up until the 70th
minute mark. But they have certainly given everything. That
was a cracking kick from Niall O'Connor. Jean Alesi has been told
that the next time the ball goes dead, it will be no side, as they
used to say in the olden days. Somebody might have cramped up. The
scrummage always causes problems for opposition front rows. The last
set-piece of the game. What they take from it Johann Muller. Ulster
could just a book that in to touch but they have not got the ball.
Johann Muller has won that for Ulster. Is there something left?
They will certainly try. George Naoupu. Ferocious Ulster tackling.
Here is O'Connor. That did not work out. Picked up by Ulster. And away
goes Paddy Wallace. Gilroy! That was a great run from Gilroy. Simon
Danielli over ran slightly. Porter. Humphreys. He has done well, good
drive. Porter needs to change the angle and here comes Humphreys.
Will this be the final round of the game? Individual brilliance from
Ian Humphreys. Ulster's third try, just when they were waiting for the
final whistle. And Ian Humphreys has dropped kicked the conversion.
And Ulster have added another seven points at the death. And it was
their skipper, Johan Muller, who is down injured. Adam Macklin did
really well to set that up. And Ian Humphreys has finished off the
evening in style. And as he comes around the corner, Connacht, for
the first time, just sit back defensively and did not close the
space and when Ian Humphreys get that slight glimpse of the outside
break, it is difficult to stop him. The Ulster replacement has come off
and that final flourish will put them in good form for the stern
challenge next week against Clermont Auvergne. That is in the
Heineken Cup. You can hear that on BBC Radio Ulster. And thanks to the
Irish squad colleagues. It was good to see Rory Best play the entire
game. He put in a very good performance but we are worried
about a couple of injuries. Johan Muller is up on his feet again,
thankfully. Ian Humphreys wedding to his family and friends. More
stoutly concerning his injury to Johan Muller and he might have done
his shoulder. There we are, Ulster have gone back to winning ways
after four successive defeats. They did not quite get the bonus point
but three tries, two of them in the second half. Fingers crossed that
Johan Muller will be fined and It all got feisty in the first half.
But it was not a classic Irish Derby. Ulster's play came in fits
and starts. A couple of minutes after the restart, Tom Court scored
their second try. Connacht huffed and puffed but could not put any
points on the board. Worrying times when Stephen Ferris went down
injured but thankfully got back to his feet. And right on the final
whistle, Ian Humphreys with an individual try sealing the victory
for Ulster. Three tries. And that is the result. That moves Ulster up
to 7th place in the RaboDirect Pro12 table. Man of the Match is
very best. The magnificent trophy, that can go alongside the champagne.
It was scrappy. The big thing for us, ahead of next week, was to get
the wind and there is a lot of aspects of the game that he will
not be happy with but the big thing is we stopped that losing run and
we won and onwards and upwards. Connacht put in a very big
defensive performance. He cannot underestimate how tough it was to
breach that but we did create ample opportunities and we have to look
at individual errors. We had chances to put them away with silly
knock-ons. Once we keep stepping it up, we have to put this chances
away. You look like you enjoyed your first appearance? We enjoyed
having him. He is undefeated this season. It was good for him. That
is what it is all about. Getting world class players on the pitch.
How did you find it? It was great. It was tough but enjoyable. It
reminds me of home. And I am looking forward to next week.
talk about the set piece, you got the basics right? Rory Best hit it
on the head, it is a win. A good chance to learn the names of the
team mates. I suppose it was a case of Ulster been very good when they
are good but when they were bad, they were fairly ugly? There will
be a sense of disappointment. Talking to Rory Best, he wants to
win but they got the perfect start in the second half and scored the
first couple of Bennett's and then you thought about the bonus point
and they did not deliver. They try at the very end had no effect. It
was over. By the table does look better for Ulster but it would have
been healthier if they had the bonus point and they will be
disappointed they did not. Absolutely. They have gone up the
table and that is important thing. But they had a lot of missed
opportunities. They created opportunities and did not take them.
That is the key. Last year they were taking those. They need to
step up to the plate. Tom Court with a try at the start of the
second half, also showed more physicality? They had field
position and the one that line-out. Eventually, it broke and Tom got in.
It was surely the perfect start. No rocket science, just hard work. And
at that stage you felt it was set up for them to take on. That did
not happen but it was a good try. Again, those errors came in and
this was the last play of the game. Had also done something like this
sailor, the bonus point was for the taking. It is too late in the day.
Those opportunities did not really get converted. Rory Best said they
will be disappointed that they made so many mistakes again tonight.
Absolutely, I am pleased to hear him say that individually they have
to look at themselves and that is the key ingredient. Everybody has
to stand up and put their hand up. Just small things, some of the
passes going behind players, for us to go forward, we talked about that,
teams need to get back in and we do not convert and that is the big
concern. With Europe looming, they have to convert these opportunities.
We are things are going your way, these passes stick. You can click.
A two-night, the opportunities were there, they were left behind.
problem is that next week in the Heineken Cup, you will not get many
opportunities like that so if accuracy is down, you might get
more tries out of those chances and that is worrying. They know
themselves, they have to get the very allusive but when it happens,
you can maybe get three or four tries but finishing isn't there.
How do you assess the chances going into the European Cup? Clermont
Auvergne at home followed by a Leinster? Two very tough games?
There are no easy games in the European Cup, it is all or nothing.
They need to step up to the plight. Especially at home next week. They
have a very tough outing and they need to raise their bar. Do you
fancy their chances in Europe? is stacked against them. I would
never bet against Ulster at Ravenhill, you get a good crowd and
that crowd and it will not be easy. Clermont Auvergne are at the top of
the French league but they might come here and get thrown. I would
not be too downbeat but they know that their accuracy has to come up
a very long way if they're going to trouble them. But there is nothing
like a Heineken Cup to focus the mind. By IQ but very much. You will
Ravenhill plays host to the first of the Irish provinces in the 2011/12 season as Connacht make the trip to Belfast for round eight of the Pro 12.
Fireworks will be expected on the pitch as this fixture in the previous season saw Ulster ran out convincing winners, scoring three tries in their 11-point victory.
Stephen Watson presents the live action with commentary by Jim Neilly.