Some big matches for the Ulstermen coming up, Kristian Ross looks ahead…
[Editor’s note - piece written prior to team announcement]
Happy New Year…… and we’re right into it.
Heineken Cup fever is infectious once again as Ulster Rugby continue their quest in another double header that starts at Ravenhill on Friday night. Montpellier are the team to beat and following the vanquishing of their opponents on home soil last year it’s fair to say that as a tricky a challenge as it may be, the Ulstermen are in a fine position to go out and do the business as Belfast sees it’s most famous ground grow bigger by the day.
Fine tuning the performances is what will be expected following a poor performance in the PRO12 against Zebre before being humbled down at the RDS by rivals Leinster. Having said that Ulster look to be back amongst it after a beating a competitive Munster side last week, albeit a shaky second half from the home side but nevertheless a good win to see Anscombe’s men get back on track.
Even with a win against Montpellier the entire operation is fraught with danger as Ulster will travel to Welford Road next weekend to face the Leicester Tigers. Richard Cockerill’s side have been a powerhouse in rugby for years and with a near invincible record the question must be asked can it be done, can victory be achieved? The Ulstermen will be boosted by the return of hooker Rory Best following his lay off after the injury sustained in the Guinness Series against New Zealand. However the coaching staff will be hoping for an injury free match against Montpellier as the Leicester task could become a thousand times harder should any big names be unavailable.
All in all we’re finally at the stage of the season we’re things start to get interesting, despite the fact Ulster are unbeaten in the group after four games they still have massive work to do to try and achieve that home quarter final, something an Ulster team has never managed since they won the tournament in 1999. Once again the Heineken Cup throws up the old adage that no matter how well you play up until the last few rounds, you must deliver that consistency or face the dreaded prospect of a QF at a venue that may not only be daunting but with a record that may not hold you in good stead. But positivity is the way forward and a miracle in Leicestershire is possible next week… but the focus for now remains in Belfast, get the job done on Friday night and press on from there.
I'm Kristian. 19. And my mind is filled with rugby shaped thoughts. Supporting Ulster Rugby, Newcastle Falcons and of course the mighty Ireland. Tommy Bowe is the MAN !!!! SUFTUM.