Friday 17 November 2017

Ulster lack ruthlessness on the road to fry French

THIS is the one that counts more than any other. Ulster brought Leicester Tigers to their knees with their best European performance since their 1999 Heineken Cup final triumph.

What they have not done is to show the same ruthless streak on the road as they have in Belfast. The time has come to follow Munster and Leinster as a club who can go anywhere in Europe. First and foremost, the buck stops with the pack of forwards. Tight-head John Afoa has been a revelation. Rory Best has maintained his World Cup form.

Chris Henry has matured in the back row. Johann Muller and Dan Tuohy make a finely balanced second row. Pedrie Wannenburg is playing out of his skin at eight. Ruan Pienaar has been masterful at half-back. He is a match-winner in a match that could go either way. It is just that Ulster do not have the pedigree in France to suggest they can do it.

Clermont-Auvergne v Ulster, Stade Michelin, Sat (KO 3.40) Live Sky Sports 1

Verdict: Clermont

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