Blogs & Opinion


Have faith in Ulster

Ulster do not want to be the nearly men of Europe, says Dewi

Dewi Morris Posted 12th October 2012 view comments

Friday will be another emotional night at Ravenhill as Ulster take on Castres in the Heineken Cup. Last Year Ulster achieved so much by getting to the final only to fall at the final hurdle against Leinster.

Their win against Munster in the quarter final was outstanding but I think the final was just a game too far. They will have learnt a lot and there is no doubt that they can win the Heineken Cup again - like they did back in 1999.

Muller and Best: combine well for Ulster

Muller and Best: combine well for Ulster

There has been a lot of investment in the club - predominantly with South African players but they have repaid the faith shown in them and seem to have bedded down well in this hotbed of rugby.

Their scrum is very solid with the likes of John Afoa, Johann Muller and Rory Best - hooker Best and locks Muller and Dan Tuohy also combine well in the lineout.

Big unit

They also have this big lad called Nick Williams who is just superb. He played for Munster and then went to Aironi and is now back in Ireland with Ulster. He is a big rampaging No.8. Ulster really thought they would miss Pedrie Wannenburg but Williams has certainly filled the void - he is a big lad who gets over the gain line then presents the ball for Stephen Ferris to take the ball up in the second wave.

I like the way young scrumhalf Paul Marshall has been playing as well. He can sometimes get caught up with which way to go but that will come with experience. Ruan Pienaar is back from the Rugby Championship and is a great player for Ulster and I am sure his presence in the team will help Marshall develop even further. Ulster also have Tommy Bowe back from the Ospreys to so they have some strike power outwide.

They do have a tough pool - with Glasgow, Castres and Northampton all providing some stern opposition. It will be a great test for Ulster and I still think they have got what it takes to get out of this pool.

back to top

Other Rugby Union Experts:

Latest Posts in Rugby Union:

Jonathan Davies

Davies: The need to succeed

Jonathan Davies talks about the Wales squad and his team's winner-takes-all clash with Saracens this weekend....

Latest News RSS feeds

Robshaw: Winning start crucial

Chris Robshaw believes England cannot afford to lose their opening Six Nations game against Wales.

Wilson awaits news on future

Ryan Wilson is awaiting news on his Glasgow and Scotland future after being convicted of two counts of assault.

Farrell out of Six Nations

England fly-half Owen Farrell has been ruled out of the whole of the Six Nations because of a knee ligament injury.

Evans ready to shoulder burden

Harlequins star Nick Evans is confident of retaining momentum despite losing several senior players to Six Nations duty.

Gloucester sign three props

Gloucester have signed three front-row forwards for next season, among them former Kingsholm favourite Aaron Doran-Jones.

Features

The Off Load: Rupert Cox's best and worst from the last week in the world of rugby

The Off Load: Rupert Cox's best and worst from the last week in the world of rugby

Rupert Cox shares his highlights from the week's rugby action in his round-up blog...

Six Nations: Paul Wallace believes Joe Schmidt delighted with Ireland's strength in depth

Six Nations: Paul Wallace believes Joe Schmidt delighted with Ireland's strength in depth

The concentrated strength of talent in the Irish squad is a credit to the work Joe Schmidt has done for Ireland, says Paul Wallace.

Live European rugby on Sky this weekend

Live European rugby on Sky this weekend

Sky Sports will bring you the best of European rugby action from a crucial final round of pool fixtures as we broadcast six live games.