A new week and another formidable obstacle to overcome.
Over to Edinburgh on Saturday with must-win writ large all over it, but also Ulster’s headspace will have to be tackled after last Friday’s fairly dispiriting effort at home to Munster.
Recent events will have take their toll and Ulster may also be travelling at the weekend without skipper Iain Henderson and Marty Moore who both left the action last Friday to undergo HIAs which saw neither return.
Not surprisingly, the mood was pretty downbeat.
“We all know what’s on the line,” said Dan McFarland, “and the fact is that we’re going to need to improve some areas of our game if we’re going to do that (secure a home quarter-final). We don’t have long to do it.
“We haven’t been scoring tries in the opposition 22 at a high enough rate for a number of weeks now so that’s certainly been an area we need to improve because we’re doing a pretty good job in terms of stopping the opposition from getting into our 22.
"But all the games that we’ve lost this year we’ve been ineffective in the opposition’s 22.”
There’s a job to do then ahead of this weekend with both attack and defence likely to be big work-ons.
“We were looking for ways to score and that was through gaining penalties and getting into the corner and driving them over,” the Ulster head coach said of the second loss to Munster this term.
“We were pretty effective at hurting them in those areas, you can’t rely on that in a game.”
Meanwhile, leaders Leinster lost 28-23 at the Sharks and missed out on an opportunity to nail down top spot ahead of the play-offs. The southern province, whose touring party is missing most of its frontline players, now face the Stormers on Saturday.
Tries from Scott Penny and Tommy O’Brien along with two conversions and three penalties landed by Ciaran Frawley earned Leinster a losing bonus point,
Also in South Africa, a late penalty from Jack Carty earned Connacht a narrow 33-30 result against the Lions at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.
Carty converted tries by Cian Prendergast and Tom Daly as well as landing a total of four penalties. Connacht were also awarded a penalty try.
Meanwhile, tributes from the rugby world have continued to come for former Ulster, Bulls and South Africa back-rower Pedrie Wannenburg who was killed at the weekend in car accident in Austin Texas.
Warren Brosnihan, who played at Ulster, tweeted that he was “devastated” at the news of the 41-year-old’s death and sent “prayers go to his son” who is believed to be in intensive care.
World Cup winning Springbok Joel Stransky also paid tribute to Wannenburg and wished his son a speedy recovery.