Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

The best is still to come, insists Pedrie Wannenburg

Ulster Springbok Pedrie Wannenburg produced a man of the match display in his first competitive game for the province.

And having helped Ulster to a nerve-tingling 27-26 victory over Ospreys the big South African back row forward — who began the night at No 8 and ended it on the blind side flank — spoke of the pleasure that winning start had given him.

The Ravenhill crowd applauded heartily when his name was announced as the Man of the Match.

“It has been a good first night. To have beaten the team who were champions last year is very pleasing,” he said.

“But I know we can improve and that is what we must work towards. We can be much better, I am sure of that.”

Asked how he had found the standard of the Magners League the man who created history by making 100 consecutive appearances for The Bulls said: “It was very good. It is different to back home and I can see that the forwards certainly earn their money over here.

“It was tough but it was a brilliant night. I have no complaints about the standard. It was really nice to play out there tonight.

“There were good players on both sides so it was very hard, but that is what you expect.”

When asked about his ball-carrying exploits, he smiled: “That is what I do. That is why I am here. That is how I play.

“You try to go forward all the time. That is what I have been brought here to do. And I enjoy it.”

His view of the match overall?

“I liked it. I enjoyed it very much and it was great to see how we improved as the game went on,” he said. “In the second half our forwards did quite a bit better. We struggled a bit in the line-outs in the first half and the scrum obviously as well.

“There is plenty to work on but the good thing is that we are able to do this.”

He takes heart from the number of youngsters coming through and thoise he has ave impressed him a lot.

“We have some very good young players who are getting better, so we will improve,” was his forecast. “I see a lot of potential here. There are experienced players and there are young players and they will gel. That is what I look forward to seeing.”

South African lock Johann Muller’s assessment was: “In the second half our forwards did better. In the first half we struggled with our line out and the scrum as well, so plenty to work.

“But there are lots of positives as well.”

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