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Leinster boss Cullen wants revenge for Belfast woe

By Jonathan Bradley

Published 10/05/2016

Tough loss: Leo Cullen admitted the defeat at Kingspan was hard to take
Tough loss: Leo Cullen admitted the defeat at Kingspan was hard to take

With just under two weeks of build-up to get through before Ulster and Leinster meet at the RDS in their PRO12 semi-final, Blues coach Leo Cullen knows there will be plenty of talk surrounding the pair's last tussle.

Ulster were comfortable winners at the Kingspan Stadium two weekends ago - triumphing 30-6 and scoring three tries as their opponents failed to cross the whitewash - but Cullen says his side will be much better come the last-four clash.

"It will be fresh and there are a lot of areas for us from the last (time) that we can be better at but Ulster are a very good team as well," he said.

"It will be another very tough day. Hopefully, it will be a slightly different scoreline - 30-6 was pretty tough to stomach.

"There are definitely areas we can be better at. We will see. It's a big challenge. It's just important that guys are managing themselves well at the end of a long season."

Ulster have lost to the Dubliners in semi-finals at the RDS in 2011 and 2014, as well as the final in the same venue in 2013, and Cullen admits that home advantage has been an important factor down the years.

"We've come across each other in a good few semi-finals," he recalled.

"A lot of the games have been here. We were fortunate when we played here in a PRO12 final.

"Ulster had finished top of the pile that year but, because their ground was being redeveloped, they gave up their home advantage for the final.

"That's not a dilemma this year, obviously, with the final at Murrayfield. We were a little fortunate back then. It was a very tight game against Ulster here.

"Maybe, it was just that home advantage that swung it our way.

"Ulster have a lot of quality across the board and the players know each other inside out at this stage.

"It's going to be one of those very tight games I'd imagine."

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