Muller ready for 'incredibly tough' test against Ospreys05/09/2012 - 14:51:05
Ulster captain Johann Muller is expecting a stern challenge when he leads his team out against defending RaboDirect PRO12 champions Ospreys in the Liberty Stadium on Saturday (6.30pm).
The Osprey’s defence of their title didn’t get off to the best start as they fell to a 12-6 defeat to Treviso in Stadio di Monigo in Round 1.
South African Muller believes they will be looking to get their season back on track with a win in their first home game of the season while he and his Ulster teammates will try to end the province’s run of poor results on Welsh soil.
“Ospreys are reigning champions, they lost against Treviso last weekend so obviously they’re going to come out on fire and really want to prove a point,” Muller told URTV.
“It’s going to be incredibly tough. They’re a good side, they’re really physical up front with a lot of internationals in the pack of forwards so obviously they are massive favourites for it but anything can happen and we’re excited to go down there and get a result.
“We haven’t had great results against the Ospreys but also in Wales, I think we didn’t win one game in Wales last year.”
Unlike Ospreys, Ulster got off to a winning start as they overcame Glasgow Warriors 18-10 in Ravenhill with wingers Michael Allen and Craig Gilroy bagging the side’s two tries.
As pleasing as it was to get off to a winning start skipper Muller insists there are plenty of things for Ulster to work on as they look to build on the success of last season.
“It was a good start. We haven’t always had good results against Glasgow in the past so to get a win over them and deny them a bonus point was a good effort from everybody.
“Still far from perfect, still a lot of mistakes and things we need to work on but a good start and hopefully we can continue that.”
The inclusion of international duo Stephen Ferris and Andrew Trimble in Mark Anscombe’s provisional squad for the weekend will no doubt raise Ulster’s spirits but the province is still without Rory Best, Chris Henry, Roger Wilson and Paddy Wallace.
With such big names unavailable to play, Anscombe has been giving some of the younger members of the squad game time and Muller is excited by what he has seen from the Ulster youngsters.
“A lot of the youngsters were involved in the pre-season, a lot of internationals weren’t involved until the last four weeks so it’s been good to see these young guys coming through and putting up their hands, wanting to play at the top level.
“I think the squad at this stage is a lot stronger than it was last year and I think it’s really healthy if you can get that competition within the squad with individuals pushing each other for positions.”
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