Belfast Telegraph

Ulster determined to stay top of tree for Christmas: Murphy

 

Ulster flanker Jordi Murphy
Ulster flanker Jordi Murphy
Jonathan Bradley

By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster flanker Jordi Murphy has warned the province can take nothing for granted despite their strong start to the Heineken Cup.

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Friday night's 18-13 win over Clermont in a game settled by a piece of John Cooney magic in the second half ensured a two from two start to the European season and raised hopes of a second consecutive quarter-final berth.

Top of their pool ahead of next month's back-to-back fixtures with Harlequins, two strong showings against the Premiership side could have them on the verge of qualification but try-scorer Murphy has warned there is still plenty of work to be done.

"To get the win in Europe is always the first and foremost thing," Murphy said after having a huge hand in the victory. "To be two in a row, especially against two quality sides is great and it'll put us in good stead going up against Quins at Christmas time.

"But the only thing we can do is try and win every game in front of us. We're not taking anything for granted, we're not two out of two, we're two out of six."

The win against their French visitors was the product of a determined forward display that dragged them across the line with Murphy adding it was always going to be key that Ulster showed intensity from the off.

"Clermont are a formidable side," he said. "We knew we had to play at our best to come away with the win and we knew we had to take it to them from the off. It was great to get the points on the board and then top it up with the try.

"There was a bit of magic from John Cooney in the second-half after they were getting into the game a bit more. All in all it's very pleasing and the squad performance was the most pleasing part of that.

"There were a few scary moments towards the end but the boys pulled together."

Ulster will be monitoring out-half Billy Burns after he was substituted in the second-half with a hamstring complaint.

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