Ulster’s Sean Reidy expects Harlequins to bring their ‘A’ game

Ulster Rugby's Sean Reidy
Ulster Rugby's Sean Reidy

Winning at the snowy Stoop on Sunday put Ulster back in contention of making the knock out stages of the European Champions Cup.

The 17-5 victory over Harlequins moved Les Kiss side to second in Pool one and while Ulster handled the wintry conditions in London perfectly flanker Sean Reidy is hoping lighting doesn’t strike twice when the sides meet against Kingspan Stadium tomorrow night.

The last time Ulster won a round three game away from home they went on to lose the reverse fixture in Belfast a week later.

That came against Premiership opposition in December 2012, Ulster won 25-6 with a bonus point against Northampton Saints at Franklin Gardens but fell 10-9 in the return.

With Quins already out of the competition flanker Sean Reidy knows Ulster can’t afford a repeat of five years ago.

“They’ve had a good look at us and likewise we’d a good look at them but we’re really going to get in front of our home crowd and really enjoy it, they’re coming over here maybe a little bit hurt and I’m sure they’ll bring their ‘A’ game,” said Reidy.

“Whatever team comes over they’re going to look to try and impress particularly if it’s young guys.

“They are a strong and proud club and they don’t want to be taking a backward step.

“They do have great players with international experience so whatever they throw at us, we’re going to be ready for it.”

The victory in London and the manner of the performance has reinvigorated Ulster.

“Teams always go through those sort of rough patches when things don’t quite go their way but, even so, I think we’ve only lost three games this season so things are going fairly well anyway but it’s was good to string a pretty solid performance there.

“Obviously we’ve still got things to work on and the boys really dug deep and came together as a team and really ‘gutsed’ it up.”

Sunday was the first time the twice capped Irish flanker had played in the snow but given the win and the fact he had a hand in Ulster’s only try Reidy enjoyed the experience.

“It was pretty cold, at half-time my hands were frozen but it was all worth it as the boys rolled up their sleeves and got on with the job, I didn’t mind it (the conditions) too much.

“There weren’t too many chances for tries there but it was just about keeping that scoreboard ticking over to keep that buffer there.

“That’s one of the strengths of my game but more importantly it was a good team performances and everyone dug in and played their part.”

Reidy is looking forward to the big matches coming up in December and the New Year.

After the visit of Harlequins Ulster go to Connacht on Saturday, December 23, entertain Munster on New Year’s Day and then face Leinster away on January 6 - before their next two rounds in Europe.

“It was just good to get more time under my belt after I’d been in the Irish set-up there for a couple of weeks and it was good to get back and start to get into the flow again.

“I’m just looking to continue my form and we’ve got a heavy schedule coming up with Connacht, Munster and Leinster coming up after Quins.

“It’s about hitting good form and making sure boys aren’t overdoing it. I’m just happy to be out there,” added Reidy.

Ulster and Harlequins will name their sides later this afternoon.