Marty Moore hopes Leinster victory will be a catalyst for Ulster

Ulster prop Marty Moore believes last Saturday’s 10-point win at the RDS could be the catalyst for a successful season.

Friday, 3rd December 2021, 11:16 am
Updated Friday, 3rd December 2021, 11:18 am

It was Ulster’s first win against Leinster in Dublin for eight years.

Ulster had started the season with four bonus-point wins from four games but despite the perfect record, the manner of the performance and opposition was being questioned - and then came a heavy 36-11 defeat against Connacht at the Aviva Stadium. Ulster had a full month to ponder that defeat before facing Leinster and Moore thinks the result and the performance which denied the defending champions any match points will make people take notice.

“I think there probably was a little part of that and we wanted to make a statement,” Moore said.

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Luke McGrath of Leinster is tackled by Ulster's Marty Moore at RDS Arena on November 27, 2021 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Oisin Keniry/Getty Images)

“We find being at the business end of the league and the competitions we have been involved with over the last couple years, we feel that maybe sometimes we are not given that respect from the outside - a win like Saturday makes people stop and think but at the same time it is only a one-off and we need to back it up week on week.

“We won the games early on in the season then had a poor performance against Connacht and we have kind of put ourselves back on track on Saturday.

“It is all about week to week and the next eight weeks are going to be huge for the squad, and it will be the make or break for the season.”

Moore said Ulster’s youthful squad fear no-one and have shown that they can take on and beat the very best.

“Teams that are considered to be the big teams of Europe - the likes of Toulouse, Racing, Clermont and Leinster - there are so many but that is the great thing about having a young squad: they have gone and beaten a lot of these teams in the recent past and there is no fear and there is confidence there,” he said.

“We worry about ourselves and our own game, we are not too caught up in the opposition. I think that is maybe a pitfall that in the past teams might have fallen into or I would have fallen into myself as a young player.

“It is knowing it is about us and that we have the talent in the squad and it is a great time to be here.”

Moore is looking forward to seeing fellow prop Jack McGrath return to the white shirt after the British Lion was side-lined for over a year with a hip problem.

“It would be brilliant - me and Jack go back to school days playing with and against each other.

“To see him come through the other side of a tough injury is amazing and I’m hoping to pack down with him in the near future.

“It would be great to have him back on the field and 100 per-cent, it is a testament to him, the work and the time he has put in to getting himself right and going through the whole surgery and rehab he has done.

“It was not an easy one to get through so it will be great when he finally does make his return back at Ulster.”

Ulster travel to the Ospreys on Saturday in their last league hit-out before Europe starts and Moore is expecting a backlash from the Welsh region after their defeat by Connacht last weekend.

“It was great to get four points last week, but it is no more important than the four or five points that is on offer this week,” he said.

“We expect a respond and we’re under no illusion what the mindset of the Ospreys is going to be this week, they are at home and they will want to rectify what was a poor game for them: they will want to put things right.”