Wednesday 28 September 2016

Jackson feels Ulster have issued message to Euro rivals

Jonathan Bradley

Published 22/12/2015 | 02:30

Ulster's Paddy Jackson. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE
Ulster's Paddy Jackson. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE

Having admitted that Ulster had lost their way earlier in the season, Paddy Jackson feels Les Kiss' men sent a message to the rest of Europe with their Champions Cup double over Toulouse.

  • Go To

Sunday's win in the Stade Ernest Wallon completed a memorable fortnight for Ulster after a 38-0 win over the same opposition a week prior and has resurrected a European campaign that looked set to flounder after a heavy home defeat to Saracens in the opening round.

The disruption of the World Cup and the wait for Kiss to arrive as the new director of rugby made for a disjointed start to the season but, having forged their first three-game winning streak since April, Ulster are rounding into form in the middle of a crucial run of fixtures that now takes in festive interpros against Connacht and Munster.

For Jackson, the wins over the four-time European champions have provided a timely reminder of the squad's capabilities.

"Toulouse have been playing very well," he said of their beaten opponent's domestic form.

"There were a lot of people doubting us over the last couple of weeks but now we've put two good performances together on the back of a good win in the league (against Edinburgh).

"We're starting to find our feet a bit after being lost for a while. It's a message to send out to everyone in Europe."

The fly-half has been central to the attacking intent that saw Ulster run in ten tries over their last three games and he appears back to his best after a frustrating World Cup, where he only got half an hour of rugby.

"It's just getting games back to back again," he said. "I missed a lot of rugby from injury last season and this year from missing out at the start of the season. I'm happy to get back-to-back games."

Now on nine points in Pool 1, Ulster would expect to secure a return to the European quarter-finals after last year's absence if they can double that return in their two games against struggling Oyonnax next month.

Jackson, however, insisted: "We won't be taking anything for granted. We've got a good chance to qualify from the pool when it comes back to it but we'll focus on the league now."

Irish Independent

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport