Ulster face tough task to prog...

Rugby

Ulster face tough task to progress in Champions Cup

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

09:11 22 Jan 2016


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Ulster will need a bonus point victory against Oyonnax this weekend if they are to stand any chance of progressing to the next round of the Champions Cup.

Speaking on tonight's Off The Ball, Stephen Ferris and Brian O'Driscoll gave their thoughts on how Ulster should approach the game and whether or not Les Kiss was correct in his squad selection.

"I think Les has been resting a number of players on and off over the last couple of weeks and perhaps that came to bite us when we came to face Oyonnax away and hopefully the point that we lost out on there won't come back to haunt us" Ferris said.

Rory Scholes scores a try as Ulster come from behind to beat Oyonnax. Image: ©INPHO/Presseye/Darren Kidd

"There's a little bit of a shape up, with Darren Cave coming into the midfield playing at 13, he's not had an awful lot of game time of the last couple of months. He's been out with a shoulder injury.

"He's partnering up with Luke Marshall who's playing at 12, who's previously been playing at 13. He'll be playing with Paul Marshall coming in at nine, another player who hasn't had a lot of game time.

"So, listen, I think it's going to be pretty tough but I expect from the first to the last minute that the boys are going to set a high tempo and go out and try and run the ball around."

Brian O'Driscoll then explained that even in the absence of players like Stuart McCluskey and perhaps lacking quality in certain areas of the pitch that the Irish province should still go all out for the bonus point victory.

"Obviously you won't have that same level of skill on the pitch when first choice players are gone, but I think they can go for broke" he said.

"I don't think there is anything to be benefited from building a lead. If they get an early penalty, if it's in front of the post you might knock it over the posts. But if it's on the 40 yard line, I think you go to the corner.

"You realise and you set the tone early that, if you lose the game but you scored four tries well at last you've done your best, whereas there's no point in not achieving a bonus point and giving yourself every chance at going through.

"They have to be quick out of the blocks and perform well, to try and get that bonus and hope that some of the other results go their way."

You can listen to the full podcast from Friday's showing featuring Ferris by clicking the link in the above.

 

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