Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Ulster have to develop a killer touch - McCall

By Ciaran Donaghy

Ulster coach Mark McCall has urged his side to be more clinical on Friday against Edinburgh in the Magners League clash at Murrayfield.

Ulster started their campaign with a victory over the Ospreys last week but despite dominating the match, they needed a late penalty to seal the game with the coach thinking his side should have been out of sight at that stage.

"We should have never been in the position we got ourselves into," he blasted.

"It was 14-3 with five minutes to go and we should have kicked on to win the match a little bit easier that it turned out."

Irish U20 Grand Slam winning captain David Pollock is set to make his competitive start for Ulster as the coach makes three changes from last week's starting line.

The former Queen's loose forward signed a two-year full-time contract in the summer and has featured in both pre season friendlies and came off the bench against the Ospreys.

He replaces former Irish international Kieron Dawson at openside flanker.

The other change in the pack sees Justin Harrison coming into the second row for Tim Barker.

Harrison had his knee scooped during the summer but returned to action as a second-half replacement last week and partners Ryan Caldwell.

The only change behind the scrum is at full-back with Bryn Cunningham winning the vote over Australian Mark Bartholomeusz.

With 10 players still at the World Cup and seven injured, including David Humphreys, McCall felt the need to freshen up his starting XV but keeps the same match squad.

"The selection is pure rotation all three players played well last week and are on the bench," he added.

" We made a commitment to the squad at the start that the team would not stay the same for the first four games. People who deserve opportunities will be given them.

"We've good players in the squad and it's going to be an education for our team to get their heads round playing very well one week and perhaps not starting or being involved the next."

Edinburgh lost their opening game in Dublin against Leinster and McCall took the opportunity to compile a scouting report.

"We went down and watched that game, they made Leinster work hard for the win and their scores," he said.

"It was 8-3 at half time but Leinster just pulled away in the second-half. They are a decent side and we are under no illusions that it's going to be difficult over there."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph