Belfast Telegraph

Friday 21 November 2014

Roger Wilson praises Ulster's strength after tough battle against Leicester

Gotcha: Roger Wilson tackled by Niall Morris and Toby Flood
Gotcha: Roger Wilson tackled by Niall Morris and Toby Flood

Ulster back row forward Roger Wilson – Friday's man of the match – reflected on the physicality of what was a bruising encounter against adversaries he knows only too well as a result of previous encounters.

The former Northampton Saints player said: "Games against Leicester are always very physical. They're one of the top teams in the Premiership, one of the top teams in Europe, and historically they set their foundations up front.

"We always knew it was going to be a tough battle in that area and we knew that as a forward pack it was going to take a lot of effort and a lot of energy out of us to not just match them but to try to better them in that area."

He revealed: "We talked about that; we knew it was going to take maybe 60, 70 minutes to wear them down.

"But you saw it towards the end that a lot of their forwards were out on their feet.

"It was a great effort in a physical battle and I think the boys can be proud of it."

Although he has made his name as a No 8, Wilson started at blindside on this occasion. Having made the switch look easy, he sidestepped the post-match plaudits bashfully. "It's not a massively different role," was his modest assessment. "At the end of the day I just want to get out on the pitch and I don't think there's a massive difference between the two.

"So if I'm picked in either position I'm happy enough to go out and do a job. It's a squad effort throughout the year and I think boys, at times, are going to be asked to play in different positions.

"It's just a case of getting down and maybe learning one or two new calls. But it's gone well so far so I'm happy enough."

As was the case against Ospreys a week earlier, Ulster's outstanding fitness in the final quarter played a big part in this win, too.

Coach Mark Anscombe praised the work of the backroom staff, saying: "We've got a good team here. JD (Jonny Davis, head strength and conditioning coach) and his crew work the guys pretty hard and we make sure that's a key part of our programme for conditioning them for games."

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