Belfast Telegraph

Ulster must be ruthless to keep Euro challenge on course: Burns

 

Billy Burns
Billy Burns
Jonathan Bradley

By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster fly-half Billy Burns has admitted the province know they need a step up in quality to maintain their perfect start to the European campaign.

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Dan McFarland's men are three-from-three in the Heineken Champions Cup ahead of tonight's clash with Harlequins in London but needed a last-gasp John Cooney penalty to scrape past the Premiership outfit back in Belfast last week.

With this evening's trip (7.45pm kick-off) followed by a daunting visit to Clermont next month, the margin of error is slim if they are to repeat last year's run to the quarter-finals.

"It was a weird one because we felt like we could have had that game done a little bit earlier," said Burns of the 25-24 win last weekend.

"There were parts of our game where we weren't ruthless enough in our attack. We created a lot of good try scoring opportunities but we didn't take them, and then defensively we picked and chose our moments, and that's not us, we're normally a team that likes to smother other teams' attacks.

"But I think that shows the growth in us. We've got a good result at home in the Champions Cup but we're not happy with how we performed.

"As well as that, there's 40-odd blokes in there - I know only 23 played - who were in that review meeting and every single one of us knows that if we want to get a result we're going to have to improve, not massively, but largely in several areas.

"It's a great opportunity for us, a great challenge, but we're looking forward to going over there and giving it a good shot."

With Quins' quarter-final hopes seemingly remote, they've withdrawn a number of front-line players. Ulster have made just two changes in contrast with Matt Faddes and Kieran Treadwell handed starts.

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