Two games down. Eight points gained. You would think that the Ulster players would be largely pleased with their start to the season. However, having drawn with the Scarlets and made a few errors in the convincing win over Zebre, the squad feel that there is room for improvement.
“We have got a lot of work to do,” Andrew Trimble told www.UlsterRugby.com. “Against Scarlets we played some good rugby and were more structured than we were against Zebre. We probably fell for it a bit and starting throwing it around.
“When we keep our shape and take the ball through phases we are a handful. We just have to make sure that we do that and make sure that we don’t get a bit frantic.
“Against Zebre we dropped the ball over the line a couple of times. We got into positions when we should have scored and we left a few out there, but we got the five tries so by and large we were happy enough.”
Reflecting on the start to the season, lock Dan Tuohy (pictured below) commented: “I would like to have got a win last week (in Llanelli), but at the end of the game we were pleased with three points. If we were to get a win against Cardiff (this Friday) that would make up for the defeat there last year and would set us up well for the rest of the season.
“Last year we lost our first two games of the season and managed to sneak into fourth place so it’s good this year to be sitting with eight points after the first two matches. Hopefully we can push on and try and get a home semi-final in the PRO12 this season.”
And what of the challenge of Cardiff and the new artificial pitch at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park?
“We struggled over there last year,” admitted Trimble, who like Tuohy has opened the new season with back-to-back tries.
“We just have to get our heads around the artificial pitch. We have the 4G pitch at Aquinas so hopefully we will be a bit more used to it. We just have to get our heads around it and play some rugby.”
Tuohy believes that the surface holds no fear for the forwards, adding: “The artificial surface is actually quite good to be honest. The studs are a bit shorter. It is a faster track, there is no denying it.
“From a scrum perspective I can’t remember it being any better or worse than grass, so I’m not that concerned about it.”
The Cardiff v Ulster clash on Friday night (kick-off 7.35pm) will be broadcast live on BBC 2 Northern Ireland and BBC 2 Wales.