Ulster keen to build on Champions Cup win over Racing 92 in crunch URC derby

Jon Wilson
Dan McFarland Ulster coach 2023 - Alamy.jpg

Ulster head coach Dan McFarland.

Ulster head coach Dan McFarland is anticipating a tough fixture against Connacht in the United Rugby Championship this week.

Ulster and Connacht currently occupy seventh and eighth position respectively in the United Rugby Championship (URC) standings.

They contested last season’s URC quarter-final in Belfast, where Connacht won 15-10.

“We only have six days before Connacht come to town,” said McFarland.

“They physically caused us problems the last time we were here and the way they approached the breakdown in that last game caused us trouble.

“We got on the wrong side of the referee in that game and it’s going to be a big challenge, a very different challenge, so it will be interesting but we’ll have to refocus for that.”

Inconsistent form

Ulster‘s form have been inconsistent in  this season’s 16-team URC points table with 20 points from four wins in seven matches.

Ulster will go into this match on the back of a 31-15 win over Racing 92 in the Champions Cup. A week prior, they had lost 37-14 to Bath in the same competition.

“It was definitely our best performance for a while,” added McFarland.

“I was speaking to a number of senior players in the week and they had a feel that we’re bubbling away.

“The opportunities that we’ve created, particularly with the ball in the last game against Bath left us feeling that we left a lot out on the field, but also confident that the foundations of what we’re trying to put together are there.”

Ulster won the Champions Cup in 1999 and were runners-up in 2012.