Captain Chris Henry knows Ulster will have to make history be winning their first European game on French soil if they want a home quarter.
Ulster booked their place in the last eight with a win over Glasgow but will have to beat Castres on Saturday to have any chance of a quarter-final at Ravenhill.
“The players now know what is a stake for getting a home quarter final, it is something we talked about at the start of the year and we have given ourselves this opportunity and winning in France is the only goal we are focusing on, “ said Henry.
Driving wind and rain made it very difficult to play rugby against Glasgow and the match became an arm wrestle.
“With the weather conditions the forwards talked about rolling up their sleeves, I think once again our scrum was huge, Tom, Rory and John our just doing an incredible job and it’s a massive focus for us every week.”
“The disappointing thing for us was we didn’t get our maul going the way we wanted it but overall we have got to be happy with weather conditions like that and being able to score three tries and putting pressure on a good Glasgow side.”
“From a players point of view there is a lot to work on but we’d delighted with the result.”
Henry believes Ulster have a great chance of winning silverware this season.
“Things have been clicking for us but it takes a lot and a load of different factors come into it, our goal at the start of the year was to compete with the best and be up there with Leinster and Munster, we’ve talked about that for two or three years and as players we want to win something, we want players playing for different representative teams and we want to win trophies.”
Darren Cave scored Ulster’s third try with a great solo effort to send a timely reminder to Irish coach Declan Kidney who was watching from the Ravenhill stands.
“I knew I didn’t have the after burners so I had to step inside, it was a tough night, the forwards scrummed well , at at times we kicked well and the kick chasing won us the game,” stated Cave.
“If you look at Nick Williams try it was two good kick chases that led up to it, sometimes in the northern hemisphere that’s the way it goes and the away fixture was like that but it was nice to get the win.”
Cave feels Saturday win be the prefect time to notch up a first competitive victory in France.
“The beauty of the Heineken Cup is you can sit all day and calculate where you’re going to be and worry about this and that but from our perspective this rugby team just wants to win matches, a home quarter would be brilliant, we haven’t won a competitive match in France before but at the same time we did it at the start of the season missing a lot of players, it will be a tough game but regardless of what is up for grabs it’s one we are looking to win.”
Ulster have won have won their Heineken Cup Pool with a game to spare and have an 11 point lead in the Pro12 but Cave feels there are a number of reasons for the improvement this season.
“If you look at the players we have signed and add Jared Payne coming back from injury, all the players that played last year are one year better and more experienced, there is a bunch of us that came through together about four or five years ago and we use to lose half our games or more and that was tough but now we’re learning to win rugby matches and throw in a world cup winner or two there is real experience.”
“Look at the Glasgow game there was a real rough patch in it, there was the yellow card and they kicked a couple of penalties and the wheels could have come off but we stayed calm, we kept it tight got a bit of territory, a bit of go forward ball, got a penalty and it was that momentum that nearly led us to getting a bonus point.”
“I felt after the Heineken Cup final last year that this team would be better this year, players losing a final means you want to win it that little bit more.”