Belfast Telegraph

Herring promises improvement

By Michael Sadlier

Even though this is hardly the first time he has been asked what became of last week's game-plan, Rob Herring is obviously still not getting much from dredging it all up again.

The stats from the Dragons defeat were clearly not good and he mentions a lower than expected return from Ulster's lineouts as is something that has surely turned the heat up on the hooker, even if he is not entirely to blame for what occurred.

"I think we won 12 out of 16 which is not good for us," is how the 23-year-old Irish qualified player addresses what was a generally dismal night for all those wearing white shirts.

"It was pretty scrappy and there were a few bad throws on my part which I was really disappointed about, but we're working hard on it and we'll be better this week."

They need to raise the game tonight as Glasgow Warriors seem certain to be a much more threatening prospect than the Dragons who simply picked Ulster off thanks to some strange refereeing calls and Jason Tovey's subsequently accurate boot.

It's a scenario that Herring, now in his second season at Ravenhill, and his team-mates seemed powerless to prevent as the harder they tried to get into the game the more it seemed to slip away from them.

"I don't know if it was nerves or what it was, but we made one error and then that led to another and the errors just keep coming," Cape Town native Herring (pictured) emphasises.

"As a result we just couldn't get into our game and they just played the territory and got the points."

So, one played and one defeat. Even though there is still a very long way to go, Herring knows that the pressure is already building to deliver the goods tonight or find themselves having to battle their way up from an unusually low position in the table.

"We put pressure on ourselves especially playing at home," states Herring.

"We want to win, but it's also about us getting back to playing good rugby.

"If we are playing good rugby then the result should take care of itself."

With Rory Best still to return to action, after being involved in the Lions tour, this is a great opportunity for Herring to show Mark Anscombe what he can offer and to further cement his place as Best's most accomplished understudy at Ravenhill with an eye to still pushing the former skipper to earn his starting place.

"He is the number one hooker and I'm just going to take whatever opportunities I get and keep playing my best," Herring says while admitting that there is room for plenty of improvement when it comes to his own recent efforts.

"When he (Best) is back I'll start pushing him for game time, play as well as I can and take any chance I get."

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