Ulster face a sweat over the fitness of prolific No 8, Nick Williams, as they look ahead to the start of their European campaign next weekend.
Williams was forced off five minutes from the end of another RaboDirect Man of the Match performance in last night’s PRO12 25-0 victory over Connacht.
Having impressed in every match since joining Ulster over the summer from former Italian franchise Aironi, Williams scooped his third man of the match accolade this season as well as scoring one of the three tries in the Irish derby clash.
Although it was still too early for a full assessment, Ulster head coach, Mark Anscombe said the backrow forward was very sore after the match.
“We will assess him over the weekend. We are not sure, but it could be a little popped rib and it is a case of how he comes through really at this stage.
“He certainly is flavour of the month,” smiled Anscombe.
However, the Ulster coach was not smiling too much with his team’s performance as they failed to really turn the screw on opposition they dominated throughout.
“Yes, we are happy with the win and it takes us to five from five. There will be very few teams who will go into Europe unbeaten. So yes, we are pleased from that point of view,” Anscombe said.
“However, the second half was very disappointing. It was a combination of things, I thought they were negative in their tactics and supporting around the breakdown.”
On the plus side, with the Heineken Cup starting next week, Anscombe has now seen every available player other than Roger Wilson – who is set to play in the British & Irish Cup next weekend as he returns from injury.
Anscombe said: “Rory Best came back tonight and played for an hour. He was happy to continue at the second half, so it was good that he has got that time. Stephen Ferris and Johann Muller both returned along with Paddy Wallace and it puts us in a good position at this stage along with all the others who have returned in the past fortnight.”
p REPORT ON P70-71