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Court aiming to lead from front for Ulster

By Ciaran Donaghy

Ireland prop Tom Court is hoping to put his Six Nations disappointment behind him by helping Ulster secure a place in the Magners League play-offs.

Back in harness: Tom Court didn’t make the most of his chance with Ireland but believes he can help lead Ulster to a top four finish in the Magners League

Court came off the bench in the first two games in the Championship but was omitted for the last three and he wants to make up for lost time as Ulster face the Cardiff Blues in a must-win game if they are to keep their top four aspirations alive.

“I’ve been looking forward to getting back with Ulster for the last few weeks now. The boys have trained really well and are pumped up for this game and we need to get a bit of pride back after the Scarlets game when everyone was disappointed, so we want to go to Cardiff and get a good result,” said Court.

Ulster lost ground on fourth place in their last outing when they put in one of their worst performances of the season against the second bottom Scarlets.

“We played poorly, we had a lot of turnovers and gave away a lot of penalties and it is very hard to win a game when you’re doing that,” Court said.

“Our ruck defence wasn’t good and we made a few mistakes in that area and it was just one of those days when it just wasn’t happening for us, so we have a point to prove on Friday night.”

Cardiff will also be desperate for a win with only three Welsh teams going into next season’s Heineken Cup.

Dia Young’s side are a point above the Scarlets and Court believes it will be a huge battle on Ulster’s first visit to the Cardiff City Stadium.

“There are a lot of things to play for. Cardiff are under pressure to qualify for the Heineken Cup but they have got their guys coming back from Wales.

“Our guys are coming back with a point to prove and we have got other guys on the fringe who are pushing for places on the summer tour with Ireland and for Ulster’s sake we have six games left to make the top four and that is still possible as long as we have a good run and build a bit of momentum up. The boys have everything to play for especially in an away game. We’ve had a couple of down weeks to freshen up and we just have to get switched on.”

Meanwhile, Ulster Ravens have been given a mouthwatering derby in the semi-finals of the inaugural British and Irish Cup after drawing rivals Munster.

Both teams have been hugely impressive in the competition so far and there were hopes of an all-Irish final.

The Ravens drew one and won four on their way to the last four, while Munster’s second XV won all five of their games during the pool stages.

The Cornish Pirates face Doncaster Knights in the other semi-final, with the winners of that match afforded home advantage in the decider.

Both semi-finals are due to be played on the weekend of April 23-25. The final will be televised live on Sky Sports on Sunday, May 16 at 6.00pm.

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