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Only a win will satisfy Ulster insist coach Mark Anscombe

Ulster players, Rory Best, Callum Black and Dan Tuohy

Ulster players, Rory Best, Callum Black and Dan Tuohy

Ulster coach Mark Anscombe declared that anything less than a win at Welford Road on Saturday evening will be a disappointment.

The Irish province face Leicester Tigers (kick-off 6pm) in a winner takes all shoot-out in Pool Five with the prize for the victor – a lucrative and crucial home draw in the last eight of the Heineken Cup.

Both sides have already secured a place in the quarter-finals, but one will end up having to make a trip probably to France as one of the best runners-up from the six pools and face reigning European champions, Toulon, the strongly fancied Clermont or Euro Cup specialists, Toulouse.

The security of already qualifying still means nothing has changed as far as Anscombe is concerned.

“We want the home quarter final, it is as simple as that,” said Anscombe. “To achieve that, we have to win the game, it is as simple as that.

“You put yourself in this competition and pride yourself on how you perform no matter what.

“It is not a consolation after this game if we lose to hear ‘well you still qualified. We are going there to play rugby, we are going there to win and anything but that is a disappointment,” declared Anscombe.

Ulster have won away to English opposition before, but not in the previous two meetings against Leicester – although they have never lost to them at home.

The Tigers have an impressive European record, only losing once since 2006 at home in the Heineken Cup.

It is a tough task, but Anscombe says his squad have nothing to fear going there.

“We had never won in France before last season, now we have won twice,” said Anscombe. “We had never finished top of our pool since 1999, we did last year. Records and statistics are always there to be broken.

“We have prepared well. We had a good meeting review and identified a few areas that we needed to look at. We trained with the right attitude and intent,” he added.

 
 
 

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