Dominating the breakdown will be crucial against Welsh insists Ulster star Dan Tuohy

Luke Marshall has returned from injury
Luke Marshall has returned from injury

Ulster’s bonus point try at home to the Scarlets came from a driving maul, and lock Dan Tuohy thinks it is becoming a potent weapon for Ulster.

However, the Irish international lock is not sure what the backs are contributing to joining in.

Almost everyone joined the driving maul which led to captain Rory Best going over for the crucial fourth try.

“I looked back at it and Tommy Bowe’s effort is absolutely pathetic and it’s actually quite funny,” smiled Tuohy.

“Good teams that win cups maul well and it will never actually go out of rugby. It’s a horrible weapon and I have been on the receiving end a few times before.

“Leinster scored a maul try against us at the RDS and I think they got one in the Heineken Cup final.

“They are a nightmare to defend, if it’s moving up the pitch to win a penalty or to score a try it’s a horrible weapon and it is something we are looking to hammer this year.”

Tuohy feels the game on Sunday evening will be won at the battle of the breakdown.

“Rory Pitman carried well, James Davies surprised us a little bit, we had done a lot of analysis on them but he caused us all sorts of problems.

“I remember carrying and bumping him off and he managed to turn me over, he is so quick he is small and slim and I think he is from a sevens background.

“He has got a big future h is some player and some threat there, we paid respect to him during the week but probably not enough in the match.”

Franco van der is fit to face the Scarlets but Wiehahn Herbst, Nick Williams, Stuart Olding and Stuart McCloskey were all ruled out.

“There was a lot of talk about how good the strength in depth was and it never came to fruition .

“We were struggling a bit away to Zebre and a few other fixtures and now it looks like we have a few front line players not there and we’re down to the bare bones in the backrow,

“We get Ruan and me back then lose another four, we lose Stuart McCloskey but we could have Luke Marshall back.”

Tuohy has decided to play the rest of the season with a plate in his arm, admitting the benefit will out-weigh the risks.

“I did a good bit of work leading up to the game so it give me plenty of confidence that I didn’t have to worry about it.

“When I first broke my arm I probably didn’t do enough work on the training pitch to go straight into the game and I was probably still thing about it, this time I didn’t think about it at all as I had taken enough contact during the week so I feel 100 per cent.

“The plate is still in the arm, we discussed about taking it out but that would entail me being out for another eight weeks.

“If I’m out for eight weeks that wouldn’t allow me time to be selected for the Six Nations and that would directly impact on me being selected for the world cup,

“We are going to keep the plate in and there is still a risk of breaking it at either end of the plate, the surgeon said there is a risk and it’s unlikely and I wanted to keep it in as it gives me the best chance to get selected for Ireland going forward.”

Tuohy’s contract is up at the end of the season and he has already been in to see new Ulster manager Bryn Cunningham and is likely to follow Tommy Bowe, Roger Wilson and Darren Cave by signing an extension to stay at the Kingspan.

“Bryn had one on ones with everybody in the whole squad but we didn’t talk about contracts, we talked about here and how he sees things over the next few years.”