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Henry in mood to sign off season in style

By Ciaran Donaghy

Captain Chris Henry believes Ulster can still reach the Magners League play-offs despite only picking up two points in their last two games.

A home draw with the Dragons was followed by a defeat at the Scarlets leaving Ulster nine points off fourth spot, making tonight’s clash with Cardiff in the Welsh capital a must win clash for Brian McLaughlin’s men.

“We’ve talked about it this week, other results have gone our way for a change and the good thing is we still have a lot of the top teams to play and teams in the middle of the table that are trying to push through,” said Henry.

“We can’t control other matches but we can control the next six, we have six games to make sure we finish off the season on a high. There have been some great successes this season but ultimately now as an ambitious side we want to make sure that up until the last game we definitely have something to play for.

“In the past three or four seasons with Ulster at this stage of the season we already knew the season was over and we had nothing to play for, this year it’s different we’re still in the mix and that is the most important thing.”

Ulster were masters of their own downfall in their last outing against the Scarlets when they leaked three soft tries and Henry is hoping that the hard work on the training ground will pay off against Cardiff.

“Against the Scarlets I think there were a few more missed tackles than usual but I don’t think we controlled the ball well in the air, we didn’t shadow back well, we didn’t help each other out and we probably put ourselves under unnecessary pressure but I think if we had got a few points at the start of the game it could have went a different way,” added Henry.

“Defence is something that we have worked hard on this week, Cardiff have got big strong runners and they are not afraid to move the ball as well so it is something that we need to make sure that we are tuned in to.”

Henry and his back row colleagues will have their work cut out at the Cardiff City Stadium as Dia Young has named his strongest side as the Blues need the win in their fight to qualify for next season’s Heineken Cup.

Cardiff have British Lions duo Andy Powell and Martyn Williams on the flanks and a certain Xavier Rush at No8 who will join Ulster at the end of the season.

Henry is looking forward to facing the former All Black, saying: “It’s going to be good craic to play against Rush. It’s a big challenge for us as a back row.”

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