News in Brief
Ferris points finger after alleged gouging
December 12, 2009
Stade Francais scrum-half Julien Dupuy could find himself in trouble with disciplinary chiefs in the wake of his side's loss to Ulster
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- Ulster flanker Stephen Ferris felt he was the victim of an illegal attack by Stade Francais scrum-half Julien Dupuy during their memorable 23-13 Heineken Cup triumph at Ravenhill. "He said to me 'I did not do anything' and I said 'we'll soon see,'" commented the Ulsterman following an ill-tempered game.
Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin preferred to focus on the result which brought the province level with their French opponents on nine points ahead of the return fixture in Brussels next weekend."It wasn't the perfect performance by any means but by goodness it was a great one," McLaughlin said after his side moved a step closer to going beyond the pool stages for the first time since 1999.
"If you're going to play Stade here then you've got to hassle them and we did that very, very well. Whenever they had the ball we forced the error. We didn't collapse in the last 10 minutes and let them get a bonus point which I think could be crucial for us in the end. We've got to believe we're good enough to win in Brussels. We've given ourselves a great opportunity. It is important for us to play over there and not to contain. We've got to go and we've got to play with the same confidence that we played with today," McLaughlin added.
- Leinster head coach Michael Cheika demanded more from his side after watching them power to a 32-7 victory over Scarlets in their Heineken Cup clash at Parc Y Scarlets.
"I was pleased with the first half and the result," said Cheika. "But we gave them too much of a look-in in the second half. When you play like we did in the first half you have just got to keep going. It worked out in the end. We want to make sure we eradicate that second-half performance and that mindset before Dublin next week."
Scarlets coach Nigel Davies gave an honest assessment of his side's four-tries-to-one defeat and admitted his players were always second best to a talented Leinster outfit.
"We were very sloppy we were inaccurate and we came under pressure we hadn't experienced before," said Davies. "We were found wanting. It took a lot of our boys until the second half to find their feet by which time it was all over. We coughed up too many chances.
"We are down but there is still a lot to play for. It's tough. I think we have to be honest with ourselves - we came off second best today. We have asked the players to go away and be honest with themselves and we will do the same as coaches. And we have got a challenge next week and we have to face up to it."
- London Irish boss Toby Booth praised the quality of his side's all-round performance following their convincing 36-3 Heineken Cup triumph over Brive.
"We are delighted with the result because it was important to keep our hopes alive in the pool. It's a massive boost for us," he said. "We knew that Brive had beaten Toulouse last weekend and would come into the game in confident mood. Plus, it's always difficult for a side like us to come to France so we knew it would be tough for us. But we came here with ambitions and the effort from the lads was massive. It was important we took care of the win first and the added bonus was the extra point. We hope that will be important as we aim to move forward towards the knockout stages."
- Cardiff Blues boss David Young hailed "a massive win" for his team after they defeated Heineken Cup rivals Toulouse 15-9 at the Cardiff City Stadium.
"This is a massive win for us. Hopefully, it will give us the belief and confidence to kick on from here," he said ahead of the return clash in France next weekend. "Toulouse will probably be a different team at home, but I can't see any reason why we cannot get another 10 or 15% out of ourselves. We are going out there to win - that will be our one and only focus."
"We were taught a lesson by Toulouse when we went out there two years ago - we could not handle their physicality on that occasion, although we were still in the game for large parts of it. We have improved out of sight as a team since then, and while it is a massive challenge for us, that should excite us. "It is something we should run towards, not run away from."
- Jim Mallinder has warned his Northampton players not to repeat their first-half mistakes in next weekend's return Heineken Cup fixture with Treviso. The Saints rugby director pulled no punches at half-time after seeing his team struggle for 40 minutes and trail 13-8 before they responded for a 30-18 Pool One win.
"We talked before the game about not playing basketball rugby from minute one, but we did try some off-loads that were not on, and that early charge-down try could have proved costly. But we know now that we will have to be at our very best in Treviso next week if we are to go into the New Year in a strong Heineken Cup position."
England international Ben Foden touched down late in the first period to halve a 10-point deficit and Mallinder was delighted with the result. "Ben Foden's try on the stroke of half-time was crucial because it meant we gained some impetus going out after the break," added Mallinder. "Here is a player who loves to attack space and play with ball in hand. He is consistently effective."
- Ospreys assistant coach Jonathan Humphreys heaped praise on new signing Ricky Januarie following his side's crushing 62-7 Heineken Cup victory over Viadana.
"We were delighted with Ricky Januarie's performance," said Humphreys following the Springbok's debut for the Welsh region. "He had only had a 10-minute team run with us, but as a professional, he was excellent. We sent him a lot of information out to South Africa so he was up to speed. We have given ourselves a platform to push on from in this group and we're really focused for the return clash next week."
Stand-in skipper Jerry Collins added, "We played some good stuff and made a few breaks in midfield. The difference was we were able to finish them off. In previous weeks we have had chances but not converted them. Of course we have had problems with injuries but we hope that is now behind us."
- Wallabies vice-captain Berrick Barnes has been award the Australian Rugby Union Players' Association medal for excellence, an award voted by fellow Australian professional players which recognises good form on and off the pitch.
Barnes missed Australia's Grand Slam tour through injury, but had been enjoying a stellar 2009 leading up to that and he was named vice-captain to new skipper Rocky Elsom just before the tour commenced. The medal recognises work in preparing for life after rugby, which Barnes is undertaking in the form of university studies.
"Being named as vice-captain of the Wallabies is a reflection of the high esteem Berrick is held in by both his peers and the ARU coaching staff,'' RUPA chief executive Tony Dempsey said in a statement.
The RUPA newcomer of the year award, won by Barnes in 2006, went to Queensland prop Laurie Weeks.