Monday 18 December 2017

Anscombe warns Ulster to be ready for Blues backlash

Ulster head coach Mark Anscombe
Ulster head coach Mark Anscombe

John Fallon

Ulster coach Mark Anscombe feels they could face a Blues backlash after Matt O'Connor's men fell to defeat in Edinburgh at the weekend.

Leinster will be bidding to avoid a third successive defeat when they host Ulster on Saturday at the RDS, having been shocked by Northampton the previous week.

But while Ulster will take encouragement from the fact that they inflicted a third loss in a row a year ago after Leinster went down twice to Clermont Auvergne in the Heineken Cup, Anscombe believes they will face an even more fired-up Leinster side this weekend.

"They are a proud team and a good team. We will both have to rest players because of the national programme, but the fact is they won't want to be going down the pathway of three losses.

"We are not fooled by the performances because we know the quality they have and they will bounce back.

"They will be at home and they will want to right the wrongs there. That performance in Edinburgh has done us no favours

"We have defended very well on our goal-line in recent games and that is great to see.

"There is a lot of energy in our defence, we just need to show more of it at the other end of the field," he said. Anscombe was relieved they continued their recent good form when seeing off Zebre at Ravenhill on Friday, but feels a big improvement is necessary if they are to repeat their 27-19 home win at Christmas last year.

"Our accuracy and our intensity was poor against Zebre. We got across the line, but we dodged a bullet and will need a much better performance in Dublin," he said.

Irish Independent

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