Ulster finally got the money of a nine-game losing streak away from home off their backs on Friday night and nobody was more pleased than coach Mark McCall.
Ulster coach Mark McCall
Ulster finally got the monkey of a nine-game losing streak away from home off their backs on Friday night and nobody was more pleased than coach Mark McCall.
Ireland’s record points scorer David Humphreys returned from a calf strain to bag a 20-point haul, and, allied to a try from young winger Tommy Bowe, the province held on to record a famous 25-22 Celtic League win over Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park.
A late lapse saw Cardiff winger Craig Morgan net a try but Ulster held on well to end their barren spell away from fortress Ravenhill. The win, added to the four points they earned last week for a bye round, saw Ulster go temporarily top of the standings.
McCall, whose side came back from an early six-point deficit, said: “We did not win a game at all in Wales last year so it was very important for us to get that monkey off our backs. I’m delighted to get the win after no having a match last weekend.”
McCall, while praising Humphreys for being “a class act”, also revealed the motivation that Northern Ireland’s 1-0 World Cup qualifier win over England last Wednesday has given his squad.
“Everybody in the squad was overjoyed at what happened on Wednesday night and it was mentioned in the lead up to the match,” said the former Irish centre.
“And it was great for us to finish off a good week for Northern Irish sport with a victory over here – not that it was anything near the same kind of victory that Northern Ireland got. But we were all right behind them and it was mentioned. And we can now look forward to taking on Edinburgh (next week) on the back of a positive victory out here.
“Edinburgh got a great start in beating Llanelli and they have a good squad. But so do we, and we know if we can stay healthy, we can compete with anyone in the League.”