Undefeated Ulster can take plenty of positives from their season so far with the signing of Billy Burns already showing signs of being a great coup.
The former Gloucester fly-half was signalled out for praise by Ireland legend and now pundit Keith Wood for his display against the Cheetahs last weekend.
Burns, who aired his intention to represent Ireland when moving to the province, kicked a last-gasp conversion to rescue a draw against the Cheetahs last weekend, 39-39, and keep Ulster’s unbeaten start alive.
And Wood said the recruitment team at the Kingspan can be confident of their commitment to Burns after signing the 24-year-old to a two-year deal.
“It was a crazy game,” Wood commented of the match played in Bloemfontein, “elements of it was like touch rugby. But what Ulster have done is they have nailed their final kick in every game; two to win, one to draw in that situation.
Speaking to Off the Ball radio, Wood added: “Billy Burns had a fine game at 10 for them at the weekend, he’s been a really good find. For him and his kicking game, to kick one when it’s (the game clock) gone past 80 minutes to draw the game is pretty impressive.
Ulster began last season in a blaze of glory, winning their first five matches, before their form unraveled leading to a mid-table finish and early exit from the Champions Cup.
Changing coach in the close season, Dan McFarland will take his team to Thomond Park this weekend to face Munster.
The Ulstermen are dangerously short of personnel with no fewer than 17 players currently receiving treatment for knocks and injuries, but Munster have issues of their own having not scored after the 23rd minute in their 37-13 defeat to Cardiff Blues.
Ulster 2018-19 PRO14 results
1 Sep: Ulster 15-13 Scarlets
7 Sep: Ulster 30-29 Edinburgh
16 Sep: Kings 7-28 Ulster
21 Sep: Cheetahs 39-39 Ulster