Life is good for Lewis Stevenson at the moment, the second row is enjoying a sustained run in the starting line up, he played for the Irish Wolfhounds and has just signed a contract extension which will keep him at Ravenhill until 2016.
“I’m pleased with the new contract and I’m glad to have committed my future here,” said Stevenson.
While things are going well for him personally the team suffered a blip against the Ospreys last Friday night.
“We set very high standards for ourselves and we definitely slipped below those I think it’s a wake-up call and I’m not taking anything away from the Ospreys here.
“But if we want to compete and be one of the leading sides in the Rabo and the Heineken Cup then we’re going to have to do better than that, we have to sharpen up and be a lot more accurate.”
Ulster’s lineout didn’t function against the Ospreys but Stevenson believed it was more a catalogue of errors more than one specific thing that led to defeat.
“There was a general snowball of things that went wrong and once one thing doesn’t work then something else goes wrong somewhere else.
“The Ospreys put us under pressure and did well and they took their opportunity when it came and we didn’t take ours when they came which is again not like us.
“We need to refocus and get our standards back to where they need to be.”
There has been a lot of soul searching in training and Stevenson knows where Ulster must improve.
“There are always things you can work on. I think I worked hard but there are things I can improve in my game.
“I think we were off in our physicality and that’s something I think I could have addressed more.”
“If you look at how the Ospreys defended I think they did so with a great deal of physicality but I don’t think we did.
“They were getting over the gain line consistently and that’s something we have to eliminate this weekend as well. Zebre are a good side despite the fact that they haven’t won a game some of their results have been close.”