Belfast Telegraph

Heineken Cup: Now let's go and win it

By Niall Crozier

They reckoned Thomond Park was impregnable. But yesterday Ulster exploded the myth in stunning style by beating Munster 22-16.

Now they are one step away from the Heineken Cup final, with Edinburgh standing between Brian McLaughlin’s heroes and the May 19 showpiece at Twickenham — to be played in front of 80,000 spectators with a television audience of millions.

Ulster and Edinburgh go head-to-head in the semi-final at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on Saturday, April 28 (5.45pm).

Stephen Ferris, who put his ankle ligaments strain behind him, defying the odds and the pundits by playing the full 80 minutes and winning the man-of-the-match award, said: “At the start of the season we talked about taking another step forward. We feel that we’ve got the team, we feel we’re going places.

“To put out a statement to European rugby, we knew that we had to come down here and get a win. We’ve done that.”

And while he was hugely respectful of Edinburgh, he made no secret of the fact that Ulster now are in the mood to take the next step up.

“Edinburgh showed they’re a good side by beating Toulouse so we know it’s going to be a tough day. But it’s one we’re thoroughly looking forward to,” he said.

Before yesterday Munster had lost only twice at home in the Heineken Cup since 1995 — and even then only in Pool-stage matches. Last season was the first time since 1998 that they failed to reach the last eight. Yesterday Ulster put a huge dent in their awesome record.

Belfast Telegraph


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