Wednesday 28 September 2016

Marshall wary of Ulster's travel sickness

Published 07/11/2015 | 02:30

“It is a tough place to go but at some point we have to break our duck away from home
and hopefully it can be tomorrow,” Marshall said
“It is a tough place to go but at some point we have to break our duck away from home and hopefully it can be tomorrow,” Marshall said

After last week's defeat to Munster, Ulster's winless run on the road now stretches back to April.

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Les Kiss has embraced his now role as director of rugby and Ulster will be hoping that his influence can have an immediate impact as they look to end their poor away record.

Rory Best and Ruan Pienaar both return amongst the replacement which means that Paul Marshall's spell in the starting XV continues.

The scrum-half is desperate for his side to pick up a win in Newport before they travel to France to take on Oyonnax next week.

"It is a tough place to go but at some point we have to break our duck away from home and hopefully it can be tomorrow," Marshall (right) said.

"You could argue that would actually be a good thing as the away form hasn't been great and it would be nice to change it up. But we're in a professional set-up now and whether it's a Friday night or Saturday afternoon, it doesn't change what we're trying to achieve.

"We've come unstuck away from home and I know people will say, 'You can't win away' but it's still the same pitch and the same four lines."

Ulster have brought in several fresh faces with Sam Arnold and Rory Scholes both coming into the back line while Kyle McCall, Dan Tuohy and Chris Henry all start.

The Dragons are unbeaten in five games at Rodney Parade which doesn't bode well for Ulster's struggles on the road.

The Welsh side have handed Wales U-20 star Ollie Griffiths his first start in a back-row that also includes Taulupe Faletau.

The Wales number eight had been subject of a move to Bath in recent weeks but the WRU blocked it as they attempt to keep their international players in the country.

"Ulster are the team in the league who kick the most and will drag the game into a kicking duel," Dragons' coach Lyn Jones maintained.

"We cannot afford to play rugby on the tail end of a really good kick. We have to play on the front foot when circumstances arise."

Ulster were beaten (26-22) on their last visit to Rodney Parade. Another one tomorrow would certainly dent their confidence ahead of a tricky looking trip to France in the Champions Cup next week.

Verdict: Ulster

Newport Gwent Dragons - C Meyer; A Hewitt, A Hughes, A Warren, N Scott; D Jones, S Pretorius; B Stankovich, E Dee, S Knight; C Hill, R Landman (capt); E Jackson, O Griffiths, T Faletau. Reps: R Buckley, P Price, B Harris, M Screech, L Evans, C Davies, J Tovey, R Wardle.

Ulster - P Nelson; R Scholes, D Cave, S McCloskey, S Arnold; P Jackson, P Marshall; K McCall, R Herring (capt), W Herbst; D Tuohy, F van der Merwe; R Diack, C Henry, S Mulholland. Reps: R Best, L Lutton, B Ross, L Stevenson, S Reidy, R Pienaar, I Humphreys, C Gilroy.

REF - D Phillips (IRFU)

NG Dragons v Ulster,

Live, BBC 2, 2.30 tomorrow

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