Ulster Rugby is one of the four professional provincial rugby teams from the island of Ireland.
It’s not uncommon for a long, unproductive journey to end dusty and bedraggled with no sign the travellers are sure if this is the destination or just another strange town along the way. That was Munster in Belfast on Friday night. The best you can say is that it’s over. Whatever crumb of comfort their fans took from their old boys Ronan O’Gara and Donnacha Ryan putting one over on Leinster in Marseille last weekend didn’t sustain them beyond the opening 40 minutes in Ravenhill.
Newry-born Shea O’Brien has put pen to paper on a one-year development contract that will see him join up with the Ulstermen this summer as he seeks to follow in Tommy Bowe’s footsteps by switching from GAA to rugby.
The closer we get to the finish line in this competition the less likely we are to focus on the harum-scarum route travelled. With some order now being restored to the world the prospect of the top eight clubs in Pool A of the Heineken Champions Cup playing off against the top eight clubs in Pool B — one versus eight, two versus seven and so forth down the line — is one you can plan for rather than one you expect to change shape.
The recent defeat at a dank and dismal Thomond Park still brought back that memory, you know the one, when Craig Gilroy exploded into that epic Heineken Cup quarter-final, scattering red shirts as he slalomed his way to the line.
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