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Ulster are ready to end painful Leinster run, vows Reidy


By Michael Sadlier

Leinster at the RDS. Quite a combination really and, as it happens, a particularly dreaded one for Ulster.

After all, visiting south Dublin doesn't exactly provide much in the way of a highlights package from the annual regulation season visits and has brought nothing at all from previous knockout games.

The lop-sided statistics tell the story, with just the solitary Ulster success in Dublin - a backs-to-the-wall 22-18 success in March 2013 - since the end of the last century.

Though there are still quite a number of squad members who can tap into what it actually felt like to beat Leinster in their own backyard, Sean Reidy isn't one of them and, already, the Kiwi has four losing RDS experiences behind him.

Playing in the back-row hardly helps either, as this happens to be one area where Leinster have a wondrous abundance of riches, with Jordi Murphy - soon to be with Ulster of course - possibly facing Reidy tomorrow.

"We know they're going to be good whoever they put in their back-row or, indeed, their pack," said Reidy who will play his 72nd game for Ulster.

Reidy is no slouch when it comes to hard work, and the Ireland international has put in some pretty decent shifts when it comes to downing Leinster players.

In October, he was attributed with having made 17 tackles but was still on the losing side when Leinster won at the Kingspan, while last season Reidy was marked down for 19 tackles when Ulster triumphed in Belfast and 15 when they, as usual, lost in Dublin.

And that last visit to the RDS, just over a year ago on New Year's Eve 2016, was a bad one.

It's something Reidy would very much like to avenge, though, in truth, the rawness of the big loss to Connacht before Christmas is still smarting.

The 28-year-old then missed out on this week's comeback victory over Munster - he had picked up a dead leg in Galway - so he now badly wants to taste a win.

And then there is the need for a decent performance to not only release some of the pressure on Les Kiss but also help set things up for two weekends of European action, starting with La Rochelle in Belfast tomorrow week.

It's just that having to go to the RDS to achieve any of this would hardly be anyone's preferred option. Still, Reidy lays it on the line.

"It's plain and simple, if we don't turn up it will be a long day at the office," he said.

"But the boys are ready, the boys are pumped and the boys are going to take a good and physical attitude down there," added Reidy, who has been involved in all but three games this season.

The way the forwards were bullied by Munster in Monday's opening half is then also addressed.

"Our set-piece wasn't good enough (against Munster), but then the positive thing was that after half-time we sort of turned it around and got the result in the end," he said. "So we're looking to really come out strong."

Ulster's season hasn't seen them hit too many heights, even when largely winning, and Reidy admits that the campaign has been accompanied by inconsistency on the field and growing criticism off it.

"There have been patches when we've been a bit sloppy, but I think we're making progress," he said.

"We don't listen to that," he retorted over the growing disquiet regarding the performances this season. "We just get on with our job and do the best we can.

"And we know it's going to be a tough day but we're ready to go down there and do it."

Reidy believes it can be done and so must Ulster.

Belfast Telegraph


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