One Ulsterman who has already picked up silverware this season. Craig Gilroy lifted the award for Try of the Season at last Sunday’s GUINNESS PRO12 awards and now he has his eyes set on a bigger prize.
“It is nice to have picked up the award, especially at this stage of the season,” said Craig Gilroy of his PRO12 try-scoring honour. “It gives me a bit of extra confidence to have that award and I am thankful to all the fans that voted for me as I was up against some other cracking tries.
“However, awards like that are nice but it would be even better to pick up something bigger collectively in a few weeks’ time.”
For Ulster to stand a chance of lifting the PRO12 title there is the small matter of beating Glasgow Warriors in Friday night’s semi-final. Despite losing to the same opposition at Scotstoun Stadium last weekend, Gilroy believes Ulster will be a different proposition in the knock-out game.
“The play-off is huge for us. We showed some of what we could do at the weekend. It’s rare that you have the chance to play the same fixture two weeks in a row. We get the chance to have another crack at them and to put it right. The squad that we sent over was strong, but we will have guys coming back who will add to our firepower.”
The Ireland international added: “I think our team will change a bit more than the Glasgow team. I was texting Tommy Seymour last night, but he wasn’t giving me anything! Whoever takes to the field it will be a fantastic match.
“I hope from a personal point of view that the conditions are a bit better than the weather was on Saturday night and that both teams can play some running rugby.”
With the final being played at Kingspan Stadium there is perhaps extra pressure on the Ulster team to deliver. However, Gilroy says the players are just focused on the game that is immediately in front of them.
“It is almost like the play-off is a final in itself. Without looking too far ahead, it would be a big advantage for us to have a home final. We are the only team that can have that. A lot of people are talking about us having a home final here at Kingspan Stadium.
“For us, that would be great, but it’s going to be useless to us if we don’t get there and we don’t win on Friday. That is all that we are focused on.”