Set piece holds the key for Ulster against Benetton says Sean Reidy

Sean Reidy in action
Sean Reidy in action

Backrow forward Sean Reidy feels if Ulster can tighten up their set piece they will be more clinical.

Dan McFarland’s side earned their first try bonus point win of the season against the Dragons last Friday in spite of a creaking scrum and losing four lineouts on their own throw.

“I just think there’s a few little errors here and there, a few missed throws and a few missed calls,” said Reidy.

“If we can tidy them up we’ll have a lot more cleaner ball to play off.

“Once we got into general phases we were actually pretty good, making some inroads especially out wide and along the edges.

“As a forward pack it’s on us to get those little things right and work hard week in week out to perfect our trade and if we can tidy them up then we should get a lot more attacking opportunities,” added Reidy.

“It was good to get the five points at the end of the day and it probably could have been more,” he went on.

“We left a few tries out there as well, at the end of the day you have to take the wins as they come.”

The maximum point win over the Dragons lifted Ulster up to third in the table and Reidy wants to keep that momentum going in the final match before the break for the November internationals against Benetton in Treviso this weekend.

“That’s what it about, if we can get a win this week that’ll take us onto 25, 26 points, so that’ll be instrumental come the end of the season,” said Reidy.

“You’ve got to take whatever you can get, especially at this time of the year.

“We’ve got to keep grinding away and keep trying to put in the best performances we can, there’s things we could have done better last week but it’s about rectifying them and trying to put in a fuller 80 minutes.”

Ulster travel to Benetton for Saturday afternoon’s game, they had a narrow victory in Treviso last season while losing at Zebre and Reidy believes the Italian teams are improving in the Pro14.

“They’re getting a little more structured and they’re holding those last passes that in the past you might have seen them drop or turnover, especially at home I think they’re playing some good rugby.

“Last year they won six out of their 10 home games so they’re very strong at home and we’ll have our work cut out for us going over there.”

Benetton have got a lot of depth there, especially when those Italian boys go away so everyone’s on the same page, so I’m sure it’ll be a tough battle.

“I’m sure they’ve got a few guys away in the national side, but it’s the same as last year when they had guys away in the Italian team, their players stepped up so I’m sure it’ll be a good, tough battle.”

While all the young backs are getting the plaudits Reidy is tipping a fellow back rower to make a big impression at Kingspan Stadium.

“One in particular to look out for is Greg Jones, he’s been training really hard and putting in some good work and playing well for the A’s.

“He came off the bench there at the weekend, he’s been good and I’m sure there’ll be a couple of other guys coming through as well so it’s always good to see,” added Reidy.

p Kingspan has agreed a new four-year deal to remain as principal sponsor of Ulster Rugby until 2023, extending a partnership that stretches back to 1999.

The agreement will see Kingspan, a leading global supplier of sustainable building products, continue as main jersey sponsor of the senior team.

In 2014, Kingspan also agreed a 10-year stadium naming rights deal with Ulster Rugby, further highlighting the strong, long-term relationship between the two organisations.

Kingspan has over 13,000 employees across 70+ countries, with its headquarters based in Kingscourt, County Cavan. It also has four further Ulster-based offices in Casteblayney, Newry, Ballyclare and Portadown.

Ulster Rugby’s Head of Sales & Marketing, Fiona Hampton, said: “We’re delighted to be continuing our association with Kingspan.

“It is a long term partnership that sees international brands brought together, and is founded on shared values and aspirations.

“Professional rugby is an increasingly competitive environment and the support that we receive, not only from our loyal fan base, but also from sponsors such as Kingspan, is absolutely vital.”

“This sponsorship not only helps us to retain and recruit talent for the senior team, it also allows us to invest in all levels of rugby in Ulster, ensuring long-term sustainability.

“We’re looking forward to continuing to work with the Kingspan team in the coming years as we strive for future success together.”

Pat Freeman, Managing Director of Kingspan Water & Energy said:

“We are very pleased to be extending our sponsorship of Ulster Rugby for another four years. Ulster is where Kingspan was founded, and the base from which we have grown into a global business in over 70 countries.

“We share the players’ commitment to team work, and the pride they take in competing at the highest level. We hope our support will help Ulster Rugby inspire a new generation of players and fans to enjoy the game.”