Belfast Telegraph

Fired-up Ulster are in the mood for revenge: Cooney


John Cooney
John Cooney
Jonathan Bradley

By Jonathan Bradley

An excited John Cooney believes Ulster couldn't ask for better opposition in tomorrow's Guinness PRO14 quarter-final with Connacht (5.35pm kick-off, Kingspan Stadium).

Rugby round up Newsletter

Game previews, plus expert insights and exclusive commentary from the Belfast Telegraph sports team.

The westerners are the only side to beat Dan McFarland's men in Belfast this season, a result back in October that ended a 58-year wait for an away victory against their inter-provincial rivals.

Overall, Andy Friend's side have a three-game winning streak against the northern province, but Connacht old boy Cooney believes Ulster will use it as motivation.

"It's a huge game," said the scrum-half. "The first knock-out game at Kingspan in five years.

"To be playing the only team to have beaten us at home, a team that did the double on us, we couldn't ask for better opposition.

"We're itching to get another crack at them.

"This is a different Connacht, normally you have a Connacht with a chip on their shoulder. They are coming here pretty confident having beaten us twice.

"We've started well in training but we know it is not going to come just automatically in the game, throughout the week we are just going to have to make sure everyone is clued in and they are training really well."

Connacht are back in the play-offs for the first time since winning the competition in 2016 and Cooney has warned that the Sportsground outfit have been playing some good rugby this season.

"Just talking to a few of them, the way Andy Friend has come in he has just brought a lot of confidence to them," he added. "He wants them to play their own game and play to their strengths rather than continuously working on your weaknesses.

"That is what they have done this year."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph