Planet Rugby

Maule eyes crucial Ulster clash

31st October 2013 08:45


SKY_MOBILE Gareth Maule Scarlets

Ready for battle: Gareth Maule

Scarlets midfielder Gareth Maule admits Saturday's clash with Ulster at Parc y Scarlets is among the most crucial of their season so far.

Despite a brace of fine performances in the Heineken Cup, the Scarlets' domestic form in the RaboDirect Pro12 has been hit and miss.

Maule knows both sides will be shorn of internationals preparing for the November Tests, but doesn't believe that will detract from the significance of the match.

"This is a very important phase in our season considering where we are in our league campaign," Maule told the South Wales Evening Post.

"From the outside there is not going to be as much emphasis on this game as opposed to Europe, but the reality is, it is one of the most important games of our season.

"We managed to pick things up in the Heineken Cup after some indifferent form in the league, but as soon as we are back in the Rabo it is disappointing again.

"We have only got ourselves to blame. It is not down to a lack of effort, the simple fact is, it is easy to go to London and take on an English team and turn your season around, you need to have the same mindset to go to places like Zebre, who will scrap for everything.

"We need to be a top-four team and we need to be able to go to these places and dispatch them, ugly or not."

The centre has been largely restricted to substitute appearances thanks to the form of Wales duo, Jonathan Davies and Scott Williams, but is confident the new faces in the backline are up to the task.

"It is going go to be tough, but everything we do in training is integrated so everyone knows their roles," added Maule.

"We have tried to up the intensity in training and have to hit the ground running against Ulster. There can't be any rustiness.

"We need to get this show on the road.

"Ulster will have a slight advantage because while they always seem to have a lot of representation in the Irish squad and even with injuries, they have names like Pienaar and Nick Williams in there who would walk into any team.

"They are a confident group of players and have had a good run in Europe again, but if we are on our game, there is no reason why we can't kickstart our season.

"There are no excuses, we are at home in front of our own fans and it is a simple case of having to go out there, perform and get a victory.

"We need to deliver and get something out of this game."

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