Rob Herring wants Ulster to get that winning habit
Ireland hooker Rob Herring believes the European Challenge Cup offers Ulster the prefect opportunity to end their 15 year trophy drought and take the next step forward.
Since winning the Celtic League in 2016 Ulster have lost two domestic finals and a European decider, and have also lost numerous knock out games in both competitions.
After dropping out of the Champions Cup Ulster face a difficult away trip to in form Harlequins in the last 16 of the secondary tournament.
“No-one in the squad has won anything with Ulster, we have been so close on multiple occasions but we just haven’t got across the line for various reasons,” said Herring.
“I’m a big believer with the squad we have now and the young guys coming up I think as a province we are in a really good place and there is so much to be excited for. But we have to take that next step now to go and win something and that just drives everything forward, when people have that feeling of winning it makes them have that want again.
“Especially with the young guys in the squad we just have to get that monkey off our back and move forward from there.
“There is a big difference in believing you can do something and actually doing it, and I think that breeds another level of confidence and a bit of knowhow in those tight playoff games.
“I’m a massive believer as a squad we need to take that next step and that will breed further success.”
Herring started four of Ireland’s five Six Nations games and came off the bench in the other against Italy and he is hoping that big game experience can benefit Ulster.
“It is a bit of a different situation for me, past Six Nations campaigns have been kind of back and forward and also with the Autumn Cup this year that took a lot of time away from Ulster it’s different ,but it is also exciting,” he said.
“I love playing with the guys here and we are all really a tight squad, to come back in you add energy to your game and I am just looking forward to contributing as much as I can.
“I think just having that experience now at international level where the consequences of messing up a lineout or a scrum is that much higher to feel that pressure and over come it just adds to whatever experience you have.
“I am always trying to develop as a player, I am nowhere near the perfect player, I am always trying to learn things and get better, and that is an area of the Six Nations where I have grown. If I can bring that composure back to Ulster then that is great.”
Ulster have won on their last two visits to the Stoop but Herring is expecting a tough tie.
He said: “We have good memories there and it has been a good away trip for us in the past. You look at Harlequins at the moment and they are probably the in-form team in the Premiership with the way they play and the style they play, they are the best team scoring tries of transition.
“Their backs are playing brilliantly and their forwards have a good maul, yes we have had good times there in past but it is going to take a lot to achieve that again this weekend.”
“Quins have definitely gone back to their DNA, they have a lot of things of the cuff, they push the tempo in their game, their base play is really good at the moment they have lots of options.
“For us we have got to stick to our systems particularly in defence and we have each other’s backs and that is the way we do things at Ulster.”
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