Pienaar unfazed by Euro Cup curse

Sun, 19 Jan 2014 09:43
Large ruan pienaar ulster2 Large ruan pienaar ulster Large ruan pienaar ulster posts

Ruan Pienaar says he's not worried about the fact that no team winning all pool matches have been able to go on and win the European Cup title.

Ulster match-winner Ruan Pienaar says he's not superstitious and won't worry about the European club title hoodoo that has meant no team winning all pool matches have been able to go on and win the title.

Pienaar scored all 22 points in Ulster's historic victory at Welford Road on Saturday which wrapped up their 100% Pool Five record. Their 22-19 triumph secured top seeding and earned them a home quarterfinal for the first time since December 1998.

That was the season that Ulster became the first Irish province to lift the European Cup and their reward for a perfect six out of six pool record is a home game at Ravenhill against Mark McCall's high flying Saracens.

When asked about the 'curse of the European Cup' Pienaar gave a straight forward answer - "I'm not superstitious." Ulster became the 10th club to end their pool campaign with a 100% record.

"All eight teams that are through are very tough no matter where you play them. We're thankful that it's going to be at Ravenhill because we've got great support there," said Pienaar.

"The stadium is looking great at the moment, but no matter who we face it's going to be tough. We'll keep working hard, keep our feet on the ground and, hopefully, we can progress further."

Pienaar picked up his second successive European Cup man of the match award in a game where he scored all his team's points, but he gave all the credit to the performance of his forward pack in a game which threatened to get away from the Irish side.

"We knew it was going to be tough. The forwards played outstandingly well, I think we controlled the game pretty well with our kicking game.

"It was a massive team effort and hats off to everyone. We knew it was going to be a tough one, it wasn't pretty but we managed to get the result in the end.

"Our defence wasn't too great last week against Montpellier so we had to make a massive step up. Once again I must say how impressive the forwards were today. They made a couple of massive hits, it was just a great team effort.

Ulster will look to increase their unbeaten European Cup run when they host eighth seeds Saracens in April.

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Brumbies v Jaguares 06h05 Canberra
Racing Metro v Munster 14h15 Paris
Fri, 27 April 2018
Munster v Ulster 22h00 Thomond Park
Kings v Cheetahs 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Treviso v Zebre 22h00 Stadio Monigo
Dragons v Scarlets 22h00 Rodney Parade
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 22h00 Myreside
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Connacht v Leinster 22h00 Sportsground
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 22h00 Sixways
Wasps v Northampton Saints 22h00 Ricoh Arena
London Irish v Saracens 22h00 Madejski Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 22h00 Welford Road
Gloucester v Bath 22h00 Kingsholm
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 22h00 Sandy Park
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
EUROPEAN CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
La Rochelle 6 4 0 2 20
Wasps 6 3 0 3 17
Ulster 6 4 0 2 17
Harlequins 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 6 5 0 1 22
Saracens 6 3 1 2 18
Ospreys 6 2 1 3 15
Northampton Saints 6 1 0 5 6
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 6 6 0 0 27
Exeter Chiefs 6 3 0 3 15
Montpellier 6 2 0 4 13
Glasgow Warriors 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Munster 6 4 1 1 21
Racing Metro 6 4 0 2 19
Castres 6 2 1 3 12
Leicester Tigers 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Scarlets 6 4 0 2 21
Toulon 6 4 0 2 19
Bath 6 4 0 2 18
Treviso 6 0 0 5 4