PRO12 RUGBY: Ulster’s Darren Cave wary of Ospreys threat

Darren Cave
Darren Cave

It’s first against third at Kingspan Stadium as Ulster take on the Ospreys this weekend.

Les Kiss’ side have won all four games and top the table on points different from Cardiff, while the Swansea based outfit are two points adrift but are the league’s top try scorers.

And centre Darren Cave thinks the Ospreys will arrive in Belfast eager to make amends for last week’s defeat at Leinster.

“They didn’t have their best result at the weekend but to score 24 tries in four games is a ridiculous stat so they are obviously playing some fantastic rugby.

“And Steve Tandy has got them well drilled and they have got some serious quality across the board.“They have Alun Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric up front and they have two of the best half backs working together in the northern hemisphere.

“And they have some speed out on the wings as well so there are plenty of threats all over the park.”

Cave helped Ulster maintain their unbeaten start to the season with one of the three tries that helped to topple Glasgow last week.

“It was nice as it has been a while since I was out there.

“There was a lot made last week how we hadn’t won a lot at Scotstoun and how it was a bogey fixture for us which I was quiet surprised at because I don’t think it was a bogey fixture.

“I think they are a good team and there are probably a lot of teams that have lost four in a row over there.

“In my experience I had won over there in Europe so I wasn’t surprised how tough a game it was, but I also wasn’t surprised that we came out on the right side of the score line.

“My try I didn’t have to do much for it there was some great play up the left from Charles then some great hands in the middle I did the easy bit.”

It’s testament to the squad depth that has been assembled at Kingspan that Ulster haven’t been able to field their first choice back line so far this season and they go into the Ospreys game without Luke Marshall, Stuart Olding and Stuart McCloskey.

“If you had of said a few weeks ago that Ulster had too many centres and too many backs and an embarrassment of riches and suddenly Luke has been out for a week and both Stuarts and now your down to the bare bones.

“I think we have had strong back lines and teams in the past and teams that are as good but we definitely never had depth.

“Every week an Irish international gets injured, or unselected and another international comes in.

“You move a player with Charles quality from full back to wing and everyone is so comfortable and it is a really positive thing.

“W e’re running in training with two back lines against each other that could easily play and both start in the league.

“And there is usually an unselected backline which is interesting with the quality in it and at the end of the day we are all better players for it.”

Ulster have conceded the least tries in the league and Cave feels it’s down to the hard work in training.

“There is no hiding it is nice to get time with different combinations, all the units will tell you it is nice to get reps and we are working hard on our defence.

“It is such an important part of the game and there is very little between the teams in the Pro12 , so a tight defence is vital if you want to win games,” added Cave.