Ulster home in on 10th straight home win

Ulster's Tom Court
Ulster's Tom Court

With another dire weather forecast predicted on Friday night, Ravenhill will be another damp and miserable occasion.

Last week Ulster and Ospreys battled the appalling conditions in Belfast, the Irish Province prevailing 10-7 to make it nine straight wins at home.

It was a game which could have gone either way at one stage, Ulster holding on to take the win and leapfrog Ospreys into third place in the RaboDirect PRO12 table.

Ulster prop, Tom Court, was happy to get four points from the contest.

“It was one of those bitter sweet games,” he said.

“We set out to get the win and the four points which we got. The boys were very happy and a bit relieved about.

“But if you look at the way we played there was a bit of a holiday hangover and probably a lack of composure.

“We created a few opportunities that we didn’t take; there was a lot of spilled ball and a lot of messy play; there were quite a few mistakes as well! It was one of those things when the concentration levels were not there and people needed someone to switch them back on. Yes, we were lucky to win it.”

The conditions didn’t help Ulster play the expansive brand of rugby that they wanted to.

Court said: “It was probably one of the bleakest nights I’ve played in for a good while but I think we have an experienced and good enough team now that we should be able to manage the conditions.

“We have a very talented bench now as well that can come on and finish games off and eke out the win for us.

“I guess we just need to play the conditions a bit smarter and even though it is going to be wet, sandy and miserable we have to make sure we’re not spilling the ball everywhere and giving them opportunities.”

Apart from what he described as an ‘ugly win’ , head coach, Mark Anscombe, took few positives from the game and Court and the squad tended to agree.

The prop said: “We looked over the game at the start of the week and there was probably not a lot you could take from it other than we need to get things right for this week otherwise there is a good chance we’ll get turned over.

“The Scarlets beat us over there earlier in the year and they’ll be coming over here with a sniff of being able to turn us over.”