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Tuohy: season a failure if we lose to Edinburgh

ULSTER second-row Dan Tuohy says beating Munster was "impressive," but believes it will be quickly forgotten if they slip up against Edinburgh in tomorrow's Heineken Cup semi-final at Lansdowne Road.

Ulster go into the contest as favourites to defeat Michael Bradley's side, but Tuohy, who accepts that the province are unlikely to make the Pro12 play-offs after losing to Leinster last weekend, believes the season will be deemed a failure if they lose tomorrow

"Beating Munster was impressive, yes, but I think it will count for nothing if we don't make the most of what we have done," said Tuohy.

"Nobody will be talking about us beating Munster if we don't win this weekend.

"If we beat Edinburgh and make it to the final, people will remember that cup run where we have beat Leicester and Clermont at home and Munster away. If we back it up, then it will sink in what an achievement it was.

"We are favourites, let's make no bones about it, and it is probably due to Edinburgh's position in the Pro12, but with the amount of Scottish internationals they have, we don't think the margin that people are starting to talk about is a big deal," he added.

"We still want to make the top four of the Pro12 because you never know what is going to happen this weekend and you'd want to have another semi.

"That doesn't look like it is going to materialise, it's disappointing for the squad for all that hard work throughout the season not to win the league, but the semi-final of the Heineken is bigger than the semi-final in the Rabo and I know which one I'd take if I had the choice."

Tuohy's form this season has put him in the frame for a place on Ireland's summer tour to New Zealand and he believes playing alongside Ulster's Springbok captain Johann Muller in the second-row has had a hugely positive influence on his career.


"He has been a big influence on me," said Tuohy. "You just don't realise how much you are picking up, how many traits, you're trying to learn from Johann. He has matured my game a great deal and I hope to learn off him for the rest of this year and when he is around next year. I want to take as much as I can from him and add it to my career."

Meanwhile, Brian O'Driscoll has been voted the greatest Heineken Cup player of all time in a survey carried out by the competition's sponsors.

Heineken carried out an all-Ireland survey among rugby fans and 75pc voted Leinster's Brian O'Driscoll top of the poll, with Munster's Ronan O'Gara (who won the ERC award for being the best player in the first 15 years of the competition) second on 15pc.

Irish Independent