Ulster boss hails SA stars

Sun, 23 Dec 2012 11:55
Large ruan pienaar ulster 630 Large robbie diack 630 Large ruan pienaar ulster v saint

Ulster coach Mark Anscombe hailed South African stars Ruan Pienaar and Robbie Diack after Friday’s 27-19 win over Leinster.

Ulster coach Mark Anscombe hailed his team’s scrum and South African stars Ruan Pienaar and Robbie Diack after Friday’s 27-19 win over Leinster.

Despite the win, Ulster's kicking looked particularly shaky early on with some aimless box kicking and Paddy Jackson missing two kicks just to the left of the posts.

While conceding that their kicking was 'pretty average' in the first 30 minutes, Anscombe was pleased with how their confidence grew with Springbok scrumhalf Pienaar showing his class as the game wore on.

"Ruan, who is arguably the best kicker/scrumhalf in the world, got his kicking game going and I thought the chase by [Andrew] Trimble and [Craig] Gilroy was pretty good.

That put pressure on them and we started cramping them down in their own half."

Ulster well and truly had the upper hand in the set-piece. Their scrum was hugely effective and they took a 13-9 lead just before half-time when referee George Clancy awarded the hosts a penalty try.

"Our scrum was outstanding and the key to our victory, without doubt. Robbie Diack did a great job for the line-outs and that gave us a good platform," admitted Anscombe.

"We were a bit tentative in the first 20 to 25 minutes and looked as though we didn't quite believe in ourselves against them. As time progressed, we built self belief and things started to happen, confidence grew and I think we controlled the game in the end."

Despite missing the likes of captain Johann Muller, Dan Tuohy and Lewis Stevenson from the pack, the pleasing aspect for Anscombe was that the replacements stepped up to the challenge of meeting the reigning European Cup champions head on.

But despite being in control of their European Cup pool and the Pro12, Anscombe stated it has been anything but easy.

"Easy? You think it's easy?" said Anscombe after the three-try success at Ravenhill. "I don't think it's easy. I don't sleep some nights and that's not easy.

"It's challenging and that's what coaching is when you are doing your job. We are not fooled by what we've done, that it is how it's going to be."

While still in control of their season and putting 16 points between themselves and Leinster in the league table, the Ulster boss hopes to reach the heights of fellow New Zealander Joe Schmidt and Leinster in the second part of the season.

"If you look at what Leinster have achieved and done over the last couple of years, I tell you we would be pretty happy if we could achieve half of that, that's for sure.

"We've had a good result. We didn't have one last week [against Northampton] and there will be more of them across the year.

"It is how we bounce back, how we respond and how we challenge ourselves to grow as a unit. So hopefully, we'll be in most competitions come the end of the season, but there is a lot of water to go under the bridge before then."

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Connacht v Edinburgh 22h00 Sportsground
Munster v Scarlets 22h00 Thomond Park
Dragons v Cheetahs 22h00 Rodney Parade
Ospreys v Leinster 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 22h00 Scotstoun
Kings v Treviso 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Wales v France 14 | 13
Lions v Sunwolves 40 | 38
England v Ireland 15 | 24
Stormers v Blues 37 | 20
Italy v Scotland 27 | 29
Brumbies v Sharks 24 | 17
Highlanders v Crusaders 25 | 17
Fri, 16 March 2018
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 31 | 25
Edinburgh v Munster 12 | 6
Chiefs v Bulls 41 | 28
Sun, 11 March 2018
Wales v Italy 38 | 14
Sat, 10 March 2018
Jaguares v Waratahs 38 | 28
France v England 22 | 16
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 16 13 1 2 65
Munster 17 10 0 7 54
Cheetahs 17 9 0 8 47
Cardiff Blues 17 9 0 8 42
Connacht 17 6 0 11 33
Ospreys 16 6 0 10 30
Zebre 16 4 0 12 22
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 17 13 1 3 64
Scarlets 17 12 1 4 61
Edinburgh 17 12 0 5 55
Ulster 16 9 1 6 46
Treviso 17 8 0 9 40
Dragons 17 2 2 13 17
Kings 17 1 0 16 9