Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 29 November 2014

Doak looks forward to tough task at Ospreys

Opportunity knocks: Neil Doak  says Ulster's backs must cash in
Opportunity knocks: Neil Doak says Ulster's backs must cash in

With Ospreys having amassed 140 points in their four RaboDirect PRO12 games so far this season, Ulster backs coach Neil Doak is well aware his side will need to make the most of any opportunities afforded to them when the two sides meet at the Liberty Stadium tomorrow night.

Ahead of the contest with the unbeaten Welsh side, he said: "They've had a good start to the season, obviously they haven't lost a game yet and they've been scoring a lot of tries.

"We know there won't be too many openings so when we do get a chance we will need to be clinical if we're to get something from the game."

The lack of such a cutting edge is an area of their game for which Ulster have been criticised this season, especially after spurning a number of gilt-edged opportunities in the home defeat to Glasgow, but Doak feels the team have shown a marked improvement in the recent victories over Connacht and Treviso.

"Last week was important for us and if you had said before the game that we'd come away with a bonus point and five tries then we obviously would have taken it.

"Individual errors like Glasgow are always going to happen in the game.

"Nobody is to blame or anything like that, but the hope is that when they do the players involved can re-group and put it behind them which is what has happened."

With Ospreys able to call upon a quintet of 2013 British and Irish Lions, an intense encounter is in the offing but, as a Heineken Cup double-header against Leicester and Montpellier looms on the horizon, Doak feels the game will present the perfect preparation for the start of the European campaign.

"There's not very many easy games now in this league but this is one that's maybe a notch up," he added.

"Even though you'd be worried about picking up some bumps and bruises, it's good to have a tough game in some ways to get us ready for the Heineken Cup next week."

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