“We’re going to the Gardens to win” – Mark Anscombe

Mark AnscombeSecuring a losing bonus-point during your Heineken Cup travels is vital to any team hoping to go through the group stages but Ulster head coach Mark Anscombe is adamant the Pro12 leaders are going to Franklin’s Gardens to win.
The Belfast side is facing Northampton tomorrow aiming to take their unbeaten record to 13 consecutive games this season and remain the only undefeated team in Europe.
He told The Rugby Paper: “We’re not thinking about a losing bonus-point. We’re going to the Gardens to win.
“We’re proud to be the only unbeaten team left in Europe but our main focus this week is on beating Northampton.
“Whoever wins this game is going to top of the pool. You don’t have many second chances in Heineken Cup.
“We don’t want to give them a sniff of opportunity to win that game to give us a psychological advantage when we go back to Ravenhill next week.
“But they lost one game already so if they lose tomorrow they’re pretty much out of the competition which makes them even more dangerous.”
A success tomorrow would see Ulster join the prestigious 50-Heineken-Cup-win club but Anscombe is aware of the difficult task in front of his men.
They must compete with Northampton up front to have any chance of getting the goods.
He said: “There is no secret about the strength of their pack but they also have some talented outside backs.
“To beat them, we’ll have to compete with them up front at the breakdown and the set piece. If we do that, we have the talent in the back line to put pressure on them.
“That’s what rugby is all about, if you dominate the battle up front you give yourself the best chances of winning. If not, it makes it pretty hard.”
Ulster: Payne; Bowe, Cave, Wallace, Trimble; Jackson, Pienaar; Court, Best, Afoa; Muller (capt.), Tuohy; Henderson, Henry, Wilson;
Replacements: Brady, Black, Lutton, Diack, Williams, P. Marshall, L. Marshall, Gilroy.
NICK VERDIER
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