Press Pass: Blair on Ulster

Press Pass: Blair on Ulster

Get the latest from Head Coach Mike Blair as he spoke with press in the build up to Saturday night's crucial URC Round 17 clash against Ulster at DAM Health Stadium.

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On the likelihood of a first-ever sell out this Saturday

“I’ve mentioned throughout the season how much the guys enjoy playing here. The atmosphere that we generate and with the proximity of the fans to the ground it means they can feel all the hits and hear all the communication stuff.

"And it becomes a real part of the experience as well. Hopefully the results on the pitch and the type of rugby we’re trying to play helps keep people coming back too.

“Ulster will bring fans, but the biggest crowds we’ve had so far were for Pau and Brive and they wouldn’t have had many fans at those games. I’d imagine there will be some Ulster supporters in which will create a good atmosphere but I’m sure our guys will back our corner noise-wise.”

On the importance of the next two home games

“We’d looked at the league table this morning – probably one of the earliest times that I’ve done that – just to show the tightness of the league and how little things count.

"We talked about when Zebre took their conversion and the ball dropped off the tee but there was still time to take a drop ball and hit it. The little things could have a big impact on where you finish in the league.

"It could be the difference between a home and away quarter-final. So we’re focusing on how close things are and us being in control of the controllables and making sure full effort is switched on.

"And if we get beat by a better team on the night then so be it. But we don’t want to look back and regret not being in the moment at all times.”

On Ulster being the 'toughest test so far' at the DAM

“We’re aware that Ulster are a really good side. They beat Toulouse in France and that was a fully loaded Toulouse team. But at the same time we’re comfortable in what we’re trying to do. We know that if we put our best team on the pitch we can beat teams.”

On maintaining the team's unbeaten record at the DAM

“It’s not something we place a massive emphasis on but the guys are also aware of it. Just because you’ve got a record here doesn’t mean it will be any easier or harder to win games.

"Guys know that we’ve been successful at home but the reason we’ve been successful is because of our physicality and giving the crowd something to cheer.

“Hopefully there will be a play-off game to come at the DAM. But it’s funny in some ways this season has felt very long and in other ways it seems like just a click of the fingers since we played against Benetton and Newcastle in pre-season.

"We’ve really enjoyed playing here but it will be great also to play Glasgow in BT Murrayfield with a big crowd watching.”

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