After Ulster’s exit from Europe last week by a single point on aggregate to Toulouse, Murphy insists he sees nothing different in the mentality of the Ulster dressing room to the successful sides he’s played on, and that Dan McFarland’s side are getting close to landing the silverware that has eluded the club since 2006.
“I don’t think there’s anything missing there,” said Murphy
“We’re knocking on that door but we’re just coming up against really top sides and like I said that (playing top sides) is where we feel we should be.
“We’re getting ourselves in position where we can contest in these knockout games but just haven’t quite got there yet.
“I don’t see anything missing, I think the squad has gone from strength to strength over the last number of years and it’s great to be part of it.
“It’s obviously ultimately very disappointing to be out of the Champions Cup but we’re in the league now and fully focused on that and hoping to finish out the league campaign strongly and get ourselves into some more knockout games.
“If we’re critical and we look back at the game (against Toulouse) there were a couple of occasions where maybe there are small lapses in concentration or things like that, and against the top sides and especially if it’s over 160 minutes.
“You really need to be on it for the whole 160 minutes.
“Look there are plenty of things that could have happened at the weekend, if certain things had gone our way or if we’d cleaned up one or two things but it’s hard to go back and try and fix something that’s already happened.
“However, going forward we just need to put in full 80 minute performances and if we can do that then we’ll be in the right place. “
Murphy turns 31 today and the perfect birthday present would be beating Munster tonight at Kingspan Stadium as Ulster look to secure a home quarter-final in the United Rugby Championship.
“It doesn’t get any bigger than Munster at home,” said Murphy.
“We went down there and had a pretty disappointing defeat as they were down to 14 men for a long part of that game.
“But a lot of rugby has been played since then and I feel both sides are in good form going into this.
“They’ll go on now in the Champions Cup and as I said we’ve had a lot of disappointment, but we’ve got to turn the page now and fully focus on this game tonight and I’m sure it’s going to be a cracker.
“I think a couple of years ago people were giving out that there wasn’t that much on the line when it came to the interpros but I think that’s definitely a 180 now.
“People are stacking their teams and you’re going out to give the best account of yourself and especially now that the League has become so competitive.
“Obviously ourselves and Munster are really challenging for those top spots to try and get in the play-offs now.
“There’s a lot on the line so I’m really looking forward to it and there definitely hasn’t been any drop in the, how would you say it, angst or physicality since I’ve moved up here, if anything it’s been up there a bit more.”
qThe inaugural United Rugby Championship Grand Final will be staged at the home ground of the highest-ranking finalist, competition bosses have announced.
The 16-team tournament – which involves sides from Ireland, Italy, Scotland, South Africa and Wales – is in its first season following the expansion of the former PRO14, with the top eight set to qualify for the opening round of knockout matches.
The teams who finish in the top four will be at home in the last eight, with league position then deciding who has home advantage all the way to the final.