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Rob Herring aiming to keep Ulster's winning feeling

By Michael Sadlier

Though the plan is to extend the campaign, via the more likely-looking route of a home play-off to secure Champions Cup rugby, tomorrow evening is still the final regulation season game which will be played at the Kingspan Stadium.

Good timing, then, to sign-off at home with a positive result and a third win on the bounce which could also yet prove to be close to, if not the actual, last sightings in Belfast for Tommy Bowe, Charles Piutau or Callum Black before retirement or moves to England kick-in.

But, more importantly, fourth-placed Ulster need to win this rearranged game with Glasgow Warriors due to pressing matters in the Conference B table - with Benetton Rugby still all over their rear view mirror at just one point behind.

Though Edinburgh, in PRO14 title play-off position by being in third and nine ahead, could potentially be caught as Ulster have yet to play the Glasgow and Munster, tomorrow's meeting with the Warriors - who have already secured top spot in Conference A - is really all about putting some space between the province and the Italians.

Another big performance required then as Rob Herring readily admits.

"Yeah, it's massive for us. We have to win this weekend," states the 27-year-old hooker.

Citing the level of accuracy which was produced at Murrayfield, when Ulster began their current two-game winning sequence at the start of the month, Herring called for more of the same to back-up last weekend's narrow home victory over the Ospreys.

"That (winning at Murrayfield) was a positive step and we spoke about what was expected from the squad and I think it showed well there.

"If we're being realistic we're going to have that same intensity again," he said, before adding, "though now at home against a top side as that is what it's going to take to beat these boys (Glasgow)."

The Kingspan factor comes into play as well with Ulster having lost just two PRO14 games at the stadium so far during this rather traumatic season.

"We've got to give something for the crowd to cheer about as well," states the three-times capped Ireland player.

"We're going to feel the support from them this weekend and we've all got to stick together.

"Hopefully it's going to be a big performance from us.

"But you can see we're starting to perk our heads up a bit more and play with slightly more confidence," Herring adds of Ulster's recent back-to-back results.

The Ospreys game was by no means an easy victory, as the 8-0 winning margin suggests, but Ulster could have scored several more tries which, Herring suggests, is better than not getting close in the first place.

"It was just one of those games," says the Cape Town native.

"We put a lot of pressure on them and had a lot of territory and possession but the last pass just didn't come right for us.

"But I think there were a lot of positives from it as we created a lot of opportunities and that was good.

"It would have been nice if we had finished some of them (the chances) off, but sometimes you win with four tries away from home and then sometimes you have to grind wins out at home."

While it isn't clear if Herring will start tomorrow, he is adamant that the only focus is on performance and not the permutations at play in the table.

"We've been focusing on ourselves the last few weeks and we've been getting results and that's what we've got to keep doing.

"We're not worrying about what other teams can do for us," he added.

"We've got a bit of form back and we know we just have to go and put in the performances."

Now it's about backing it up.

 

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