Opposition View: Ulster

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This week’s Opposition View comes courtesy of Ulster fan for 35 years Mark Purse (@rugby1968), as he offers his thoughts on a tumultuous campaign for the Irish Province.

How pleased are you with Ulster’s season so far?

The season has been “annus horribilis” both on and off the field. Players in court, coaches leaving, star players injured and other non-Irish qualified players frankly being a waste of money.

What has been the standout Ulster game for you?

Scarlets at home has probably been our best performance, beat the reigning champions on a dry evening. We showed pride and passion on the fifth anniversary of Nevin Spence’s death, and the players put in a performance that would have delighted Nevin.

Who has been the standout Ulster player for you?

John Cooney. He was third choice scrum-half at Connacht and was replacing an Ulster legend and one of the finest nines in world rugby (Ruan Pienaar). No-one was expecting much but he has been exceptional, as has his goal kicking which has been a God send considering our goal kicker has been missing all season.

John Cooney in his Connacht days


What are the hopes for the rest of the season now?

Truthfully, just get the season over and hope that we can win the play off between the two fourth best teams in the conferences. I think Edinburgh are too far in front of us when you look at the remaining fixtures. Treviso may well take the fourth spot though, I have no confidence in Ulster at the moment

What have you made of Cardiff Blues generally so far?

They started off poorly but have gathered a real head of steam. Can see them finishing third and a place in the Champions Cup is well deserved. They are difficult to beat at home, plus you have my favourite player in your side….Nick Williams.

Nick Williams Ulster
Nick Williams in his Ulster days


Prediction for Saturday?

Bonus point win for your guys, plus the referee is awful even worse than Clancy……

Thanks again to the clearly suffering Mark for taking the time to answer the questions. I hope Ulster get back on track, but preferably after Saturday!

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