Magners League: Simon scotches hopes of easy night for Ulster
Ulster’s flying Scotsman Simon Danielli goes head to head with a few of his international team mates tonight in Glasgow.
But the Ulster wing, who started for the Scots against England and Italy in the Six Nations, is not expecting any favours from opponents who, being second-bottom, need points.
“They’ll be targeting this game as one they want to win,” Danielli said. “But in some sense there’s not a lot of pressure on them. They’ve written off any chance of reaching the top four so they can try and spoil other teams’ seasons and they’ll be trying to do that to us.”
While he was away with Scotland he watched closely.
“I was in Edinburgh last weekend ahead of the Italy game at Murrayfield but I managed to get the hotel to get me BBC Northern Ireland so I was able to watch Ulster against the Dragons in my room,” he said.
“I went through every emotion; I thought we’d won it, then it looked like we’d lost it. Then Ruan dropped that goal with the last kick of the game. Great result, but nerve-wracking!
“It’s obviously great to be involved in the games with Scotland but I’m happy to be back with Ulster where we have a very exciting end of the season hopefully to come,” he added.
His status as an international player notwithstanding, Danielli knows he is under more pressure than ever to hold on to his jersey.
“You can’t take your place in the side for granted and that goes for every position in the team. Any of the young boys who have been given the opportunity have put their hands up and played well,” he said.
“It’s brilliant for the squad and it spurs everybody on to bigger and better things. And it’s great for the coaches as well to know that if there are injuries there are players snapping at the heels to play and do a job.
“In order to stay in the top four you have to pick up points away from home and certainly if you analyse our five games we are going to have to get points away from Ravenhill to stay there.
“It’s going to be tough but we feel like we have the squad to do it,” said Danielli.