Ulster’s Tom Court focused on role with club

Ulster prop Tom Court
Ulster prop Tom Court

Tom Court came off the bench against Zebre like a man with a point to prove.

The prop flew to Italy after being omitted from the Ireland to face Fiji and was part of the dominant Ulster scrum that forced the penalty try to win the game.

Court will start against Treviso this week and is hoping for another big performance.

“I think it is just about being consistent, I think selection with the Irish thing has maybe to do with being outside form and I think there are probably a lot of other factors coming into that at the moment,” said Court.

“For me it’s just about playing well every week and do something that is going to catch the attention of the coaches, for me it is just about contributing to Ulster and making sure I’m consistent and making sure we win.

“Over the last few years there has been a lot of disappointment and a lot of tough times I felt, being cut from teams or not being selected and sometimes the justification didn’t add up but that’s the way professional sport goes, in the shot putt when you threw the distance you got picked when you play a team sport you rely on other people and other factors come into play.

“Somebody else can dictate your life when they are picking teams whether it be your club or country, it’s a bit of a roller coaster and you have to learn how to deal with it.”

Ulster preserved their 100% start to the season when Neil Paterson awarded a penalty try and Court feels it was the right decision.

“Some people might think the referee was a little bit quick on the whistle but with how the scrums had been going all day he probably had enough, if he had of awarded another penalty we would have went for the scrum anyway.

“People can say whether it goes one way or the other I guess in the end it was hard to question with the way the scrum was going.”

Ulster lost to Treviso last year at Ravenhill to leave them with three wins from six they go into this season’s fixture with eight wins out of eight.

“We talk about a winners mentality, last week we were playing against a lesser team and they probably played better rugby that us and we still came out on top, I think when you are on a roll and have got that confidence and the winning mentality you can eek out games when you should, Zebre probably liked that killer blow to take the game away from us.

“Going into Treviso the boys are very confident and we know we got out of jail last week but now it is just about rolling on and taking the result and make sure we are better this week.”

December could hold the key to Ulster’s season they play the second placed Scarlets as well as Irish derbies with Leinster and Munster in the league and the back to back European games with the Saints in Europe so Court feels it’s imperative Ulster leave Italy with a second win.

“There have been a lot of young guys coming in maybe getting opportunities that they wouldn’t normally get so they are obviously trying to prove a point and there are other guys who have maybe been there a while and will want to keep performing well and showing that they deserve to be there.”

“There will be a lot of internationals coming back so there are boys that will want to hold on to their spots and prove that they deserve to be in the team and to finish out this block and still be undefeated.

“I think that is the big thing moving forward nobody wants to be part of the team that loses first.”

Ulster are missing three front line locks but Court felt Neil McComb and Robbie Diack did a good job in Zebre.

“Neil has been playing well all season as he has really stepped up this year, Robbie has always worked hard and has been involved for a while , there are times in training when he has had to step into the second row so it’s probably not totally new, in a game situation it’s probably an experiment buy he’s 6ft 6 so you aren’t losing much height and he has put on a few kilos and I think the boys are happy he has settled in to the second row and I think he did a great job considering his is slightly out of position.

Court knows Treviso will target up front.

“All the Italians teams are forward orientated, Treviso base their game on the set piece and I don’t think it will be any different from the Zebre game, they are missing a few internationals but they are a very good side and very consistence at home, they have beaten some of the top teams and pushed others to the wire, I think it will be tougher that last week and if we want to get anywhere near winning the game we’re going to have to be a lot better than last week.”