Stuttering Ulster can bounce back, insists Herring
Ulster's stand-in hooker Rob Herring says they are aiming to win all six games remaining in the regular season of the Pro12 as they bid to get back on track after a run of poor form.
The Irish-qualified hooker, who is deputising for Rory Best, was called into the action off the bench for last Friday's defeat to Glasgow Warriors, and the fallout from Ulster's flat performance has clearly been exercising the thoughts of the injury-hit squad this week.
"We have six league games left and we want nothing less than a win from all of them," Herring stated after seeing their commanding Pro12 lead whittled back to a mere three points over Glasgow and, more worryingly in terms of their home semi-final hopes, sees the leaders just five points ahead of third-placed Leinster.
"Going into the semi-finals we want to make sure we're in top spot so we can get a home semi. It's a goal for us and is on everybody's mind."
Coach Mark Anscombe is in no doubt about the importance of tomorrow night's clash with Benetton Treviso – their final outing in the four-game segment during the Six Nations period – after a stuttering period. Cape Town native Herring, for one, believes they can rediscover their early-season form, starting with a win over the Italians.
"It was very disappointing, and we have now lost three out of the last seven, but it's the kind of thing we'll bounce back from," he said.
Herring played when they last met Treviso, back in November at the Stadio di Monigo when Ulster escaped with a 16-15 win and recalls a game where his bread and butter, the line-outs and scrums, simply didn't function to the required standard.
"Yes, we had a bad day out there (even though they won) and it always starts with the set-piece," he said. "You have to get that first-phase ball and a bit of momentum."
Now that the games are running out, Ulster and their hooker can't afford any more slip-ups.