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Ulster left to play for pride not points

There is luck. There is bad luck. And, then, there is Ulster bad luck.

The Northern Province has not been far behind Leinster in the number of casualties they have had to endure this season.

Unlike Leinster, they do not have the depth of squad to cope with the further losses of Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding.

This year alone, their Champions Cup squad registered former Leinster Age-Grade men in prop Ruaidhri Murphy, scrum-half David Shanahan and lock Alan O'Connor.

At the beginning of the season, this would have been billed as a day of destiny in Pool Three.

Instead, Ulster have slipped off the radar and into anonymity with Toulon the only club already qualified for the quarter-finals.

However, The Tigers are fully aware that a five-point away win at Ravenhill could snatch an away quarter-final for them.

"The knock-out stages of Europe are where every team wants to be. You want to test yourself against the best so it would be huge for the club if we could qualify," said Leicester prop Marcos Ayerza.

"When we have needed to step up in Europe or in The Premiership, we have performed well in the big games.

"We know that when we are firing on all cylinders then we can be one of the best teams in Europe."

The challenge for Ulster is to show to their faithful supporters that they still have pride at home because that is all they have left to motivate them.


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