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Muller readying himself for all-Irish battle

Guinness PRO12 Editor

4 Apr 2012

Johann Muller is adamant Ulster must beat Munster up front if they are to have any chance of progressing in the Heineken Cup on Sunday.

The two RaboDirect PRO12 provinces meet at Thomond Park for their quarter-final clash with the visitors the underdogs courtesy of Munster’s previous record on the European stage – especially in Limerick.

Ulster did reach the same round last campaign for the first time since winning the competition back in 1999, only to fall to Northampton.

And South African lock and skipper Muller insists he and his Ulster teammates must front up to the challenge if they are to avoid lightning striking twice this year.

"Quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals are all about the small things," said Muller.

"It is all about making sure you do the little things really well. Normally if you do that, the scoreboard and the result will look after itself.

"Obviously first phase is key, especially against a side like Munster. We know their pack will want to dominate.

"They are a great scrummaging side and they have a great line-out. We have got to match them or we will lose."

And Muller's hopes of causing an upset as they head to Limerick is boosted by the fact that Ulster do so on the back of four straight RaboDirect PRO12 victories, including a 45-7 demolition of Aironi last time out.

"We lost two line-outs, but our scrum was really good [against Aironi],” added Muller.

"Rory [Best], Tom [Court] and John [Afoa] did a very good job up front and the back five put their hands up as well.

"But we know the animal we are playing next week is a totally different one. We need to do our homework this week and make sure we plan accordingly."