Adam D’Arcy proud of Ulster's flying start at Ravenhill
Having signed a one-year contract prior to Friday night’s Magners League kick-off against Ospreys, full-back Adam D’Arcy was keen to show Ulster that they had made a good decision.
He did so, and thoroughly enjoyed the occasion.
“It was a really good experience. It was a step up from the pre-season trial I played in against Leeds. I think we brought the right attitude and level of aggression to get a win over last year’s champions,” the 24-year-old Australian said.
With each of Ulster’s back three players making his Magners League debut, the fear was that Ospreys would target them and seek to exploit their natural anxiety and inexperience.
Like D’Arcy, wingers Tommy Seymour and David McIlwaine came through the test.
“I think all three of us played solid games rather than outstanding games to help the team get the win. We knew Ospreys would probably look at our inexperience so we were ready for that. Credit to Tommy and David. They played really well, defended really well.
“We’re going to be better for that experience,” he said.
He found the league to be more physical than anything he had experienced before.
“I could manage the pace no problem, but playing against the likes of Jerry Collins it was very hard physically.
“Ospreys had a lot of international players out there so that was different, too. I’ve played against international players back home, but never so many at once,” he explains.
With four points for having beaten Ospreys safely banked, Ulster will aim to double that total against Aironi on Saturday night at Stadio Luigi Zaffanella. D’Arcy is looking forward to his first away trip with his new comrades and to the match itself, although he knows that will be tough.
“We’ve got to bring that same attitude and aggression as we had last week. If we don’t, last week means nothing. We know they (Aironi) are going to be physical, as they certainly were against Munster.
“They’ve lots of talent, too, so we’ve got to be really switched on. With it being their first home game in the Magners League they will have good support. We have to start well, show that same attitude and aggression and come out of there with a win,” he says.
D’Arcy’s ability to read the game is something which has impressed the Ulster faithful in his two outings to date.
“I like to work my way into positions where there are gaps or holes. I try to take advantage of a mis-match, or through counter-attack or an overlap.
“The more I play with the 10 and 12 pair, the better I can be for this team, I think.
“I like to work and get myself involved around the park — not just in counter-attack but on the phases where we can take advantage of things done by loose forwards.”
In his two matches to date he has impressed by virtue of his angles in particular. Is that intuitive or is it something on which he has worked?
“I think it’s probably a 50-50 mixture,” he says. “You’ve got to work in order to be fit to get in those positions. You’re running from one side to the other to look for that opportunity.
“But it’s instinctive as well. A defender can come up at the last minute, for example, so you’ve got to be able to change your mind quickly,” D’Arcy explains.
“I’m fairly quick off the mark so if I spot a gap I try to go from there.”