Williams: Time to banish our away day blues
Coach Matt Williams has challenged his Ulster side to start winning on the road and he believes there is no better place to do it than against European champions Munster at Thomond Park.
Ulster’s last victory in Limerick came in 1992 with a 12-11 inter-pro win, although they did beat Munster in Cork during the 2005 season.
This season Ulster have yet to record an away win despite going close on several occasions, and with 10 games left Williams knows they must improve on that record.
“If we go down there and don’t turn up we’ll get our bums smacked but if we do turn up mentally we have a good shot at this,” said Williams.
“Do you say when you go away it’s alright to lose? This is going to be the big thing with this team mentally and emotionally, that it is not alright to go away and lose, we’re rejecting that.
“We’re slowly turning it around where we’re drawing away at Llanelli which is not an easy thing to do, but we should have won it.
“Whether it’s this week or next week we’re going to break its back, we’ve 10 games left in the year and we have got to win some. We just can’t say we’re going to lose 10 games on the road that’s just not on and it’s not going to happen.”
Despite not having won on the road this season Williams is not unduly worried and he thinks the side is learning enough to turn narrow defeats into victories.
“We definitely should have won in Cardiff and we should have beaten Llanelli. We showed up against ‘Quins but there was a 15-minute period where we just got a hiding from the referee and a sin binning and let in three tries,” claimed the Australian.
“The big thing is the guys are learning mentally how to cope away from home. They walk out at Ravenhill and everything is familiar but to win away from home is very tough.
“It’s a tough thing but great teams do it and tough people do it. When I was at Leinster it took us a couple of years to win those games and this is what this team has to do.
“It’s a mental game when you’re away from home but the first step is to say we are going to try and they are trying.”