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Kiss shrugs off Ulster's injury crisis ahead of win or bust duel


By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster Director of Rugby Les Kiss is sure his side can handle the pressure of a must-win clash with Ospreys on Saturday (3pm kick-off), despite being dealt a quadruple injury blow.

If the province were to lose in Liberty Stadium this weekend, their season would probably be over, no matter what happens one week later in the final round of fixtures when they welcome Leinster to Belfast.

But even with Jared Payne, Chris Henry, Darren Cave and Clive Ross ruled out through injury this week, Kiss has done his best to banish negative thoughts from the camp.

"Obviously you have to be aware of it (that the season could end), but you cannot be hijacked by that side of it," said the Australian. "The group as a whole, there is a real good spirit there at the moment.

"There is a high level of confidence and belief at the moment and that is what we are tapping into more than anything, but it has to be on the back of meeting the challenge.

"A lot of the game at this time of the year is mental, a lot of it at this time of the year is emotional and when you have that battle you still have to have that steel and composure to apply your plan accurately."

While Ospreys' struggle for momentum has been even greater than Ulster's with the Welsh region - who sit in the final play-off spot, one point ahead of Ulster - having lost four in a row, Kiss is expecting a return to form.

"We're going away to Ospreys who have been a top two team all year but are now stuttering," he added. "But there's no mistaking that they were a top two team and they played some fantastic rugby throughout the year."

Belfast Telegraph


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