Greg Jones Press Notes | Northampton

Greg Jones Press Notes | Northampton

4 months ago

Players

Greg Jones spoke to the media this week to preview our Heineken Champions Cup Round 3 clash with Northampton Saints at cinch Stadium.

Here is what he had to say...

On how tough a prospect Northampton will be on home soil…

“They’ll be really good; their attack has been class. We have already talked this week about the fact that although we played reasonably well at home and got a good bonus-point win, we didn’t think we saw the best of them. We’re going to face something even tougher going over there. A big thing for us will be stopping them at source with their set-piece and attack; it’s obviously such a strength those first three phases. They run them really well and play with a lot of speed, so a big part will be applying pressure at set-piece and shutting them down in the first few phases.”

On the impact of COVID on European fixtures and the opportunity for Ulster going into Round 3 with two wins from two…

“Thankfully we’ve been uninterrupted [in the Heineken Champions Cup], so the longer we can go on playing games and getting wins is great to have points on the board. Those first two games went really well and we know how good both those sides are, so we know there are two really tough fixtures coming next. We’re all just delighted to be able to keep playing games and hopefully getting more wins.”

On being involved in the big wins against Leinster, Clermont and Northampton…

“It’s been great. I’ve been delighted to be able to get to play and being involved in some really big wins. Last weekend against Munster was disappointing but to be involved in those games against Leinster, Northampton and Clermont, they were really good games. I’m just hoping it continues and I keep playing and contributing well. Hopefully we can get the show back on the road this weekend and rectify what went wrong last weekend.”

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On Ulster being able to close out more tight games…

“It’s been brilliant because last year we had a couple of bad ones, particularly against Gloucester away in the Heineken Champions Cup. That Leinster game away was tied up until the last few minutes and we closed it out in dramatic fashion, defended really well and James [Hume] getting in to seal the win. In Clermont, we went down in the second half and fought back to win it. Obviously, if we had it again, we wouldn’t have liked to have had that patch when they were attacking well and we were a bit off the pace in defence, but the overall mechanism of having won from behind away from home in Clermont, that was huge for everyone. It’s such a tough place to win, and an even tougher place to win from behind. They will stand to us going forward.”

On Northampton’s back row breakdown threats…

“Breakdown will be a big focus this week. They have guys like Lewis Ludlam and Teimana Harrison who might play – another good guy at the breakdown. Obviously, what happened last weekend was disappointing; Tadhg Beirne got a few jackals. It’s about small things in terms of how we’re attacking as forwards, how we tighten up our support ruckers, and reduce that lag time where they get opportunities. I think all of us are going to be extremely focused on that this week and hope to rectify that whole breakdown. As well as jackal turnovers, there will be an element of focusing on the breakdown in that we want to generate quick ball so we can attack better. We’re disappointed in how we attacked last weekend. There are definitely a good few things we can implement this week and improve that speed of ball and take those guys out of the game who will try to jackal.”

Highlights | Ulster v Northampton Saints | Heineken Champions Cup

Watch highlights of our Round 2 game against Northampton at Kingspan Stadium last month

Ulster's next home game

Ulster will take on ASM Clermont Auvergne in the final Round of the Heineken Champions Cup pool stages at Kingspan Stadium on Saturday 22 January (5.30pm kick-off)

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