Centre Luke Marshall has challenged his Ulster team mates to back up last week’s impressive win over Leinster as they travel to the Ospreys for D-Day in the Pro12.
A bonus point win for Ulster will clinch a semi final place any other result leaves them waiting on the outcome of the other final round games.
The Ospreys also need a bonus point win to qualify for next season’s European Champions Cup but need Scarlets to do them a favour at Munster.
Ulster produced their best display of the season at Kingspan last Saturday but Marshall knows it will count for nothing if they can’t replicate that at the Liberty Stadium.
“It will be a bit of a challenge not having the same atmosphere, last week being a home the crowd were great for us.
“Obviously we can’t rely on that this week and that is another challenge and one of the things we talked about, the good teams can put in a big performance here and there but the great teams can back it up week in and week out.
“Five points would be great, I think we are just hoping to get the win first and foremost and we’re not relying on other results going our way - if that happens great.
“I don’t think I have been involved in such a tight finish. I suppose the only similar thing was European qualification maybe this year and certain three years ago.
“I have never been in a situation like this and hopefully we can come out of the right side of it and get through to the semi.
“I think the only time management might bring a message on if the Scarlets are winning by a decent amount and they have got a bonus point and we are sitting on three tries and pushing for a fourth try. I’m sure we will be kept up to date in some fashion,” he added.
With the home side needing five points Marshall knows the Ospreys will come out firing and that the Ulster defence will have to pay special attention to Wales scrum half Rhys Webb. “In some ways it might help but the fact they need a bonus point win against us because they are probably more reliant on their kicking game and grinding teams down than playing running rugby, they are probably going to go in this weekend and throw the ball about a bit to get those four tries and that could potentially make our job harder and certainly are defence will need to be water tight.” ” “In our meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday Webb has been one of the key figures that we have picked out, Dan Biggar outside him is a coy operator at 10, I think Rhys Webb makes them tick and he is definitely one of the best nines in Europe if not the best on his day.”
Marshall s hoping a strong end to t season can get him on the plane to South Africa. “Hopefully if we get to the final and win it will help everyone that is hoping to go to South Africa and give them a chance for me I’m just trying to focus on the rest of the season for Ulster and just get some silverware that is the main focus.”