Darren Cave goes into Friday’s Heineken Cup clash with Montpellier as having the most try assists in the competition a while he’d like to cross the whitewash more himself he’s happy to by contributing to the team.
“I’d love to sit here and be top try scorer every season and I know that doesn’t happen but that is not the important thing,” said Cave.
“I have a few assists and that is nice but it’s about doing what I can every week to help the team win whether that be making a tackle somewhere and getting no credit for it or scoring the try.
Cave felt Ulster had to beat Munster last Friday.
“There were two average enough performances against Zebre and Leinster, Munster were 10 points ahead of us in the league so it was a very important game for us.
“I think it was the prefect way for the game to pan out, it was a winning performance but not a spectacular on.
“It was a performance where you can look back and pick out obvious areas for improvement, but if you’re beating Munster, who are probably one of the best teams in Europe and you’re looking at the game and going there are serious areas for improvement that is a good place to be in.
“Munster’s try before half time was very disappointing you felt going in at 20-0 if you get the first score of the second half the game is dead and buried but the try was a bit soft and at the end of the day it didn’t cost them.”
Cave is expecting Montpellier to be fired up for their trip to Ravenhill in spite of having nothing to play for in terms of making the knockout stages.
“In France you don’t see every match but I’ve been keeping an eye on their results and they have probably lost a few more games than they are used to.
“There is no reason why they would rest or rotate this week, there is a couple of weeks before the Top 14.
“If I was Montpellier I’d be coming to Ravenhill full strength going we can’t get out of our pool in Europe but if we get a good result and performance we can get the Top 14 season back on track.”
Cave could come up against his old team mate Timoci Nagusa on Friday.
“He’s is a good friend of mind and was a big crowd favorite when he was here.
“I think he’ll love to be playing here, we’ll shake hands after it and have a laugh but hopefully we’ll make it a tough night before that for him.
“I don’t think he had his best game when we were over in Montpellier and he will know that. If he is selected this week he will be very highly motivated to have a big game as he maybe has to right a few wrongs from the last game.”
A lot of supporters minds will already be looking to the potential showdown at Welford Road next weekend but Cave insisted Ulster are totally focused on the job at hand.
“I think Ulster and Leicester both fall into the same category this week, we’re both favorites to win.
“I think back going into round five with Ulster in 08/09 were we out of the competition but we beat Harlequins at Ravenhill and while you know you can’t qualify from your group and you’re not going to win the Heineken Cup there is still a big chance to get a scalp.
“The teams in our group that are out of it will be heavily going for a scalp this week.
“If you sit and worry about this and that and teams get the calculators out and then end up losing matches, you just have to focus and control what you can control and win matches.”
Cave has won five Irish caps and is keen to be involved in the Six Nations and has only the games with Montpellier and Leicester to force Joe Schmidt’s hand.
“I want to p-lay well and contribute as much as possible to make sure Ulster get wins but it’s about getting wins it’s not about me or individual agendas.”
“Obviously I want to play well and want myself to be in the shop window for selection but I want to play in an Ulster team that is winning games.”
Cave loves running out at Ravenhill on the big European nights.
“It’s very special, I’m 26 and I’ve been involved in these Heineken weeks for five or six years and you start to think that you’re not going to be doing it every year for the rest of your life the more you think about that the more you cherish it and enjoy it and you want to to that by making sure Ulster win games.”