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Ulster – Kristian Ross

Guinness PRO12 Editor

19 Oct 2012


Kristian is 18, from Newcastle Upon Tyne, huge Ulster fan, been blogging since summer. Best rugby moment was Craig Gilroy’s try against Munster to give them a semi-final place in the Heineken Cup. Currently he rambles on for Irish rugby website Harpin on Rugby

So here we are, six games in for Ulster Rugby and sitting firmly top of the RaboDirect PRO12. Having now established themselves under Mark Anscombe, Ulster have outlined their intentions of glory early in this season’s campaign by playing some glorious free flowing fluid rugby, complemented by some brilliant defending. It's been a joy to watch, and Ulster have paid tribute to Nevin Spence in the best way: unbeaten in the competition, and currently the only unbeaten team in Europe. Perfect start.

The biggest surprise so far this season has to be Nick Williams. Having been written off by some pundits over summer due to his age and a poor time at Aironi, Williams has shown just how much of a powerhouse he is, having scored tries and been the king of one handed offloads when Ulster are on the attack. Williams is a player who so far this season looks the dangerman in every single match; he will want to continue his brilliant start, having already been confirmed as a fan favourite.

The player who has been most valuable this season has to be young Paddy Jackson. Having had a poor Heineken Cup Final, I personally thought Jackson may suffer from nerves this season, but he has been awesome. Some brilliant kicks, he has kept his cool for Ulster so many times this year, it has to be said that he could very well be a future Ireland star.

My overall prediction for this season for Ulster Rugby is that they will now make the top four. Anscombe has his tactics sorted, he knows when to play the right players, and his rugby knowledge when he speaks does make for fantastic viewing. Ulster have a great chance if they keep on the path that they are currently on. Most fans must feel this way; I myself have been taken aback by how well we have played.

Other predictions for this season include Tommy Bowe scoring a load of tries. Since coming back home, the wing has looked sharp. Also, Iain Henderson to break through as a potential Ireland star, having put in some fantastic performances so far this year.

At the start of the season, I'd have said Leinster would be the RaboDirect PRO12 winners. At this current point, I wouldn't be able to say who my clear winner would be: Ospreys have started poorly, Scarlets look the business, and Leinster have been slow. But there is one thing for certain, without a doubt… you can't write us off yet.