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Ulster are on the brink of early exit


Neil Doak

Neil Doak

Neil Doak

Neil Doak's men are drinking in the last chance saloon in the aftermath of their defeats away to Leicester Tigers and at home to Toulon in this inaugural Champions Cup.

If there is any club feeling the heat from the apparent rise in competition, it is the men from the north.

Ulster hold an unimpressive won one, drew one, lost four from their half-dozen encounters with The Scarlets from the Heineken Cup.

Interestingly, from the six matches, there have been at least 10 points separating the clubs on four occasions.

This could turn into a high-scoring, high-reward outcome for the winner.

It isn't stretching credibility to suggest Ulster need all ten points from these back-to-back skirmishes to hold out any reasonable hope of making it through to the knockout phase.

In reality, The Scarlets have more to play for, given how they upset Leicester in round two, with The Tigers now eager to burst champions Toulon's bubble at Welford Road on Sunday.

Verdict: Ulster


TOMORROW, Sportsground (KO 5.0)

Coach Pat Lam will rue the misfortune of not having Robbie Henshaw available to combine with Mils Muliaina and Bundee Aki.

It is a real pity given how the New Zealanders have already added a different dimension in attack and in defence. Connacht trail Exeter by one point with all four clubs in Pool 2 winning one and losing one.

The Westerners have won eight of their last nine against French clubs in a well-worn path through this competition and they have been unbeaten there in the PRO12 League this season.

Verdict: Connacht