Prop Ricky Lutton is happy to be picking up wins as Ulster continue their challenge for silverware on two fronts.
The previous win in Treviso coupled with defeats for the Ospreys and Glasgow means Ulster have climbed to third in the table ahead of Friday night’s PRO12 game with Dragons at Ravenhill.
“We just have to look after ourselves and we’re not looking around too much, we’ve set a target of four wins from four in this block of games while the Six Nations is on,” said Lutton.
“We’re two from two they haven’t been great performances but the sign of a good team is that you win when you’re not playing your best.”
Lutton felt had Ulster taken their chances they could have had a bonus point in Italy had they taken their chances.
“We back our maul and we think it’s good of a driving lineout, things didn’t quite go our way on Sunday, we had a pretty harsh not straight call and things just didn’t click, looking back at the game we probably created eight or nine scoring opportunities and we were lacking a clinical edge that allowed them back into the game.
“We probably tried to play too much rugby in our own third and we let them into the game and it was closer than it should have been.”
The tight head prop was happy with the Ulster scrum against Treviso despite George Clancy’s interpretation at the set piece.
“On our own ball we only had four scrums and we got four good platforms to attack off there and we were happy enough, on their ball a couple of decisions went against us and we had one bad scrum where we all put our hands up and said lack on concentration and that is not good enough at this level.”
“You have to adapt to the referee at this level, he wanted a certain style of scrummaging and it maybe took us 25 minutes to get into that but in the second half we really showed that we are a good scrummaging unit when we get it right.”
“We just usually leave it to the captain I think the referee would get annoyed if all three front row players were chirping away at him and that wouldn’t help matters, so we do it through the skipper and try to keep the ref onside but ideally we take the matter out of his hands but staying square and low and if we are getting good ball and dominance it doesn’t matter what the referee is doing.”
Lutton just wants to make the playoffs and believes Ulster are capable of winning it no matter where it’s played.
“We’re just taking it one game at a time we haven’t sat down and looked at the bigger picture yet, we’re just getting through these four games and then after the Scarlets we’ll reassess look to regroup and look at that last block of the season.”
“We know if we go out and play our best every game and give our chance of winning every game we could get a home semi final but we’re equally comfortable going on the road as well if it comes down to it, we don’t fear any of the teams home or away.”
The Dragons arrive in Belfast on a high after beating Glasgow but Ulster have won their last nine games at Ravenhill.
“The Dragons pushed Leinster very close and they have just beaten Glasgow we’re under no illusion that it is going to be a really tough battle, they are going to come at us in the forwards because they are a very physical abrasive team.”
“In Coombs they have a really good leader, we’re hurting for the defeat in the first game of the season because it was a game we felt we should have won and probably did enough to win but didn’t take the chances.”
“We want to build Ravenhill into a fortress and we don’t want teams coming here with any hope , we want teams to fear coming here with the crowd behind us , we want teams to come here knowing they have to play their game of the season to have any chance.”
With John Afoa leaving for Gloucester at the end of the season Lutton is hoping to use these games to push his cuase for a regular starting spot.
“As a younger guy coming through all I can ask for is opportunities and to take them and now it’s in my hands to show Mark and David Humphreys that I’m good enough and can step up when required.”
“I’m sure there will be other signings and other people brought in but that doesn’t really affect my game I just go out there and try to improve every week and put my best foot forward I want to be selected and be No1 but that is going to require a lot of hard work.”
“I’m still on a devolvement contract so hopefully I can get sorted out for next season and kick on.”