Ulster attack coach Neil Doak admits the province are ‘jealous’ of the Heineken Cup heroics of Leinster and Munster.
And he vowed his side will ‘rattle’ Joe Schmidt’s side in the European Cup decider at Twickenham on May 19 in their quest for a second title.
Doak said: “Leinster and Munster have probably been the forerunners with regards to European rugby and Irish rugby and we are jealous of that. Three finals in four years is tremendous from their (Leinster’s) point of view and it’s a credit to their management and players because they’ve worked hard. We want to try and emulate and better that and we’ve got a chance in the cup final in a few weeks’ time.
“Obviously Leinster are going for back-to-back wins but we’ve got to pitch up and make sure we do ourselves justice and hopefully upset them and get ourselves a second European title. There is no doubt that Leinster are favourites; the experience that they have, the amount of internationals that they have and the quality that they have in their squad across the board. Against Munster and Leinster we are always going to be underdogs until we get over that hurdle and start to beat them on a more regular basis and not just one-offs. In three weeks’ time we’ll take a one off!
Ulster have reached the final courtesy of dogged defensive displays in the quarter-final against Munster and the semi-final against Edinburgh.
But Doak is aware that huge improvements are required from the northern province if they are to celebrate a first title since 1999.
“From my point of view, attack is the best form of defence. It’s hard to defend for long periods. If Leinster have the ball for a sustained period of time we could be in for a long afternoon so we’ve got to make sure we have quality on the ball and try to put them under pressure and play in the right areas. We’ve got guys who are ambitious and want to further their international careers and they’ve got guys in similar positions. It will be a great day for Irish rugby and hopefully we do ourselves justice. There will be an unbelievable atmosphere.”
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