Ulster welcomes Connacht to the Kingspan this Saturday in a highly anticipated interprovincial clash. The winner will earn their spot in the Semi-Finals of the Pro14 and a trip to Scotstoun to face the Glasgow Warriors.
Ulster has excelled expectations this year and has given their supporters renewed optimism for silverware.
The new coaching team, headed by Dan McFarland, has turned things around and they are a side littered with talent and confidence.
He has installed a new mentality and resilience to Ulster and Jared Payne has tightened up the defence.
Ulster narrowly missed out on a Semi-Final spot in the Heineken Champions Cup falling to finalists Leinster. It was fiercely fought encounter at the Aviva but Ulster couldn’t quite hold on for the win. We hope they can use this disappointment to fuel their performance this Saturday.
Connacht finished up third in Conference A ahead of Welsh competition in the Blues and Ospreys. They are not a team to be taken lightly.
Let’s rewind to October 2018 where Ulster were dealt a tough lesson by Connacht. The visitors registered their first win in Belfast for 58 years. They overpowered Ulster as the hosts were reduced to 14 men.
Ulster will need to improve their discipline and give Connacht the respect they deserve if they are to prevail on Saturday.
What a career Rory Best has had for both club and country. He has amassed over 200 appearances for Ulster which highlights his consistency and longevity in the game.
On an international level, he is the most decorated captain in Irish history. That said, he will have unfinished business for Ulster. This is his last chance for silverware in the Pro 14.
However, sport can be cruel so Best and Ulster can’t take any liberties on Saturday as they look to give Rory a fitting send-off.
A special mention must also go to the Ulster stalwart, Darren Cave, who has pieced together an amazing career. The ex-Sullivan man, like Best, will bow out at the Kingspan on Saturday and Ulster owe it to these two gladiators to book a place in the Semi-Finals.