Blogs & Opinion


Battle of Ravenhill

Can Ulster tame the Tigers?

Miles Harrison Posted 12th January 2012 view comments

Two former champions clash at Ravenhill on Friday, with Ulster and Leicester vying for a place in the last eight.

Just three points separate Ulster, Leicester and Clermont in Pool Four with two matches remaining. Miles Harrison will make the trip to fortress Ravenhill and says there is everything to play for!

Is this the moment of truth for Ulster and Leicester as far as progressing to the play-offs is concerned, Miles?

Ulster skipper Johann Muller

Ulster skipper Johann Muller

MILES REPLIES: We have to assume that Clermont will do what they need to do in Italy this weekend and, by that, I mean take a try bonus point on top of their win. That would give Clermont 16 points with a home match against Ulster to come.

Ulster start this weekend on 14 points and Leicester are on 12. So, you can see the importance of this game at Ravenhill. Leicester have the safety net of a final game at home to Aironi but, as you can also see from those figures, a loss on Friday could mean that their safety net might as well have a hole in it!

LIVE ON SKY SPORTS

Ulster v Leicester
8pm, Fri, Sky Sports HD1
Watch on the move with Sky Go
How to remote record

Ulster have also probably got to get something from each of these last two weekends but, as far as this weekend is concerned, it certainly has the feel of a shoot-out because the one that is on the receiving end of the defeat will be in a very bad situation.

Let's talk about home advantage Miles. Ulster have beaten just about everyone at Ravenhill, how important will this be against Leicester?

MILES REPLIES: Playing at home has always been massive for Ulster. And, lately, they have won 10 straight Heineken Cup games in Belfast, including against Clermont Auvergne this season. Of course, on Leicester's only previous visit, back in 2004, the Tigers lost 33-0. Now, I am not expecting that kind of one-sided affair this weekend but it does show that, when the crowd and their team are on a roll at Ravenhill, then sometimes there is very little the opposition can do.

Decision time Miles. Can Leicester overcome those bad memories of Ulster and come away with a win?

MILES REPLIES: I believe they can but I'm not sure that they will. I have got this one down as a dramatic close encounter which really could go either way. When looking for an 'edge' on this occasion, it is pointless asking, 'which side wants it more?'

Both teams could not want it any more than they do. I am glad that I'm paid for calling the actual games and not putting my neck on the line to call the winner because I think this game is anybody's. One score in it either way? Yes, probably. You simply have to join us for this one on Friday night; it will be an intense start to the weekend's action. It might not always be pretty but it will be brutal because the desire to succeed could not be greater.

Comments (3)

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

Ethan Judge says...

Don't let yourself down like that Michael Ringland. Have you not been reading the papers then - have you not even bothered to read what Barnes wrote? You are not even one-eyed, you are blind! So easy to have an opinion after the result isn't it! Go away, you are embrassing yourself and every other Ulster fan.

Posted 11:27 19th January 2012

Michael Ringland says...

Well Miles, you got that wrong! What's your follow up? "English darlings blown away at Ravenhill. " Funny the English press are very quiet!

Posted 13:48 17th January 2012

Kev Cork says...

congrats ulster on a super victory, just shows quality of the RABO PRO 12 league and the over rated premiership, from a munster fan

Posted 21:57 13th January 2012

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

back to top

Other Rugby Union Experts:

Latest Posts in Rugby Union:

Dewi Morris

Heart and soul

Dewi Morris looks at a crucial weekend in the Championship as we head towards the play-offs....

Stuart Barnes

Ups and downs

Stuart Barnes says the drama of relegation must be kept in rugby, but the play-offs need changing....

Latest News RSS feeds

Blood clots rule out Schwalger

Wellington Hurricanes prop John Schwalger has been diagnosed with blood clots on his lungs.

Saints resist Irish rally

Northampton moved seven points clear of third-placed Bath in the Premiership table with a 36-21 win over London Irish.

Hughes 'may play for England'

Wasps' rising star Nathan Hughes has confirmed he has held talks about qualifying to play for England.

Saracens changes 'paid off'

Saracens' decision to rest some of their star names ahead of next week's Heineken Cup semi-final paid off.

Blues keep faint hopes alive

Cardiff Blues kept alive their hopes of securing a place in next season's European Cup with a 17-13 win over Scarlets.

Features

Win London 7s tickets

Win London 7s tickets

Click here for your chance to win tickets to the Marriott London Sevens with Game Changers.

Harlequins' Nick Evans speaks exclusively to Sky Sports

Harlequins' Nick Evans speaks exclusively to Sky Sports

While Premier League football managers have spent their run-in perfecting the art of ruling themselves out of contention, Nick Evans insists Harlequins are adopting a far more assertive philosophy as their push for an Aviva Premiership play-off berth reaches a crucial juncture.

Sky Sports have signed the rights to the Top 14, France's premier rugby competition

Sky Sports have signed the rights to the Top 14, France's premier rugby competition

Sky Sports will offer customers even more top class rugby union from next season, after securing a five-year agreement to show France's Top 14 exclusively live.