Ulster have the quality to prevail at Murrayfield
Edinburgh coach Richard Cockerill says his side have to win Conference B clash
Ulster coach Dan McFarland and Iain Henderson. McFarland’s team must rediscover the form that almost dethroned the European champions at the Aviva Stadium
Edinburgh v Ulster
Murrayfield, 7.35pm – eir sport
EEdinburgh coach Richard Cockerill cuts to the core of this penultimate regular season Pro 14 tie.
“We’ve got to win,” said the former England hooker. “It’s the same as last week. If we don’t, we’re relying on other results and miracles. We’ve just got to keep winning."
Ulster sit second in Conference B, two points clear of Treviso with Edinburgh three points adrift, and local derbies to follow on April 27th for every team.
“We’ll put out our best team and we’ll both go as hard as we can to try and win," said Cockerill. "They’ve got a lot of quality, but we’ve got some pretty good players too.”
Ulster’s quality should shade the contest as Iain Henderson returns to captain a side seeking to respond from recent defeats in Dublin and Glasgow. There follows a likely victory at home to a third string Leinster but four points here all but guarantees a home quarter-final on the first weekend in May. Connacht or Cardiff would be the opposition with Glasgow (or Munster) waiting in a semi-final on May 17th or 18th.
More clarity is promised after these matches but this is the moment Dan McFarland’s team must rediscover the form that almost dethroned the European champions at the Aviva stadium last month. Interestingly, Jacob Stockdale runs at fullback in a needs-must situation or glimpse into his future role for Ireland.
Ulster are close enough to full strength to prevail.
EDINBURGH: Darcy Graham; Damien Hoyland, Mark Bennett, Matt Scott, Duhan van der Merwe; Jaco van der Walt, Henry Pyrgos; Pierre Schoeman, Stuart McInally (capt), WP Nel; Ben Toolis, Grant Gilchrist; Magnus Bradbury, Hamish Watson, Viliame Mata. Replacements: Ross Ford, Allan Dell, Simon Berghan, Callum Hunter-Hill, John Barclay, Charlie Shiel, Simon Hickey, George Taylor.
ULSTER: Jacob Stockdale; Robert Baloucoune, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey, Rob Lyttle; Billy Burns, John Cooney; Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring, Marty Moore; Iain Henderson (capt), Kieran Treadwell; Nick Timoney, Jordi Murphy, Marcell Coetzee. Replacements: John Andrew, Andrew Warwick, Ross Kane, Alan O’Connor, Sean Reidy, David Shanahan, Peter Nelson, Angus Kernohan.
Results: Nigel Owens (Wales).
Verdict: Ulster win.