Kiss: ‘We’ll show Connacht what we’re about’

Date published: April 1 2016

Ulster director of rugby Les Kiss wants his sliding side to respond with a win over PRO12 leaders Connacht on Friday.

Fifth coming into this weekend and one point outside the top four, Kiss admits the squad's goals have changed since their stint at the top of the table earlier in the season.

"It is what is, and we have to adapt our targets in the short term, but it hasn’t at all deflected us from the primary aim of a place in the playoffs," Kiss told the Irish Examiner.

“The loss at Glasgow last week, when we were in control for long periods, and when we had chances to put the game away, was hard to take, and the mood in the changing room, not to even leave with a losing bonus point was I’d say, damaged."

Kiss and Ulster will be delighted to welcome back a number of their leading Ireland internationals as Rory Best captains the side, with Andrew Trimble and Jared Payne returning in the back three.

Having those top players back is pivotal for Kiss as he looks to turn over a Connacht outfit who have taken the league by storm this season.

“It’s great to have these guys back after Ireland duty, we couldn’t have used them last week, because of various knocks and a bit of a virus, which has been going round, but they’re ready for what is a really tough game against a Connacht team which has impressed us all,” added Kiss.

“Pat Lam has done a remarkable job down in the West, and they like to play a good style of entertaining rugby, but they know their defensive responsibilities and they can make life tough for anyone, as they did in beating Leinster last weekend.

“But there were areas where they’ll have been disappointed with, which tend to be brushed aside in victory. We have looked closely at how they play, which is very, very, impressive, and we believe we have the strength in depth and the character to show what we’re really about here in Ulster.”