Ulster have to fire again, warns Iain Henderson
Even after their stunning 39-32 Champions Cup win over Clermont on Saturday, Ulster man of the match Iain Henderson has stressed that the province's job is only half complete.
With the re-match in the Stade Marcel-Michelin set for this Sunday, the star flanker believes that last weekend's big victory will count for little if it is not backed up with another result in the Auvergne to help their quarter-final push.
Having already lost once in the pool stage this season - Les Kiss's side threw away a winning position to take nothing from their visit to Bordeaux-Begles - he acknowledges there remains little margin for error at the halfway point.
"Having lost in France last time out, every game is a crunch game," he said. "We will look forward to going out there."
Henderson - who led his side with 15 abrasive carries - knows he and his team-mates will have to be at their best to stop the Top 14 giants at a ground where they have lost just five European games in 13 seasons. With Clermont's attacking qualities on show for all to see last weekend as they ran in four tries only to allow Ulster five, he has targeted an improvement in terms of missed tackles this weekend.
"A couple of missed tackles in the second half cost us tries," he admitted after Ulster slipped off 20% of their efforts.
"But we dug in and hung on to the last minute. They just kept on coming at us. We knew they would because they aren't one of the best club sides in the world for no reason.
"We had to knuckle down to ensure they didn't score more tries than us."
But while the niceties likely won't last too long into this week, after such an entertaining contest, Henderson was happy to give credit to the opposition.
"Hats off to Clermont though," he said. "Just look at how many points they scored. That's something we try to stop at Ulster, but they are a great attacking side.
"We had to have our wits about us all game, especially in the second-half.
"They had attacking threats left, right and centre and they were fantastic."