“That’s the type of game I love to play” | Mike Lowry

“That’s the type of game I love to play” | Mike Lowry

4 months ago

Players

Heineken Champions Cup Star of the Match, Mike Lowry gave his reaction to Ulster’s bonus-point victory over Northampton Saints yesterday afternoon.

Congratulations Mike – you scored two tries and were awarded Star of the Match – was that your best game in an Ulster jersey?

It was certainly enjoyable! It was also seriously tough; Northampton play a great brand of rugby and throw the ball around. They caused us a lot of problems, but once again it broke up a wee bit and we got our hands on the ball a bit more. It was a good game for the neutrals to watch; we talked during the week that both teams like to play. That’s the type of game I love to play and really enjoyed it today.

How important was it to get the fourth try?

We realised that the next score would be a big moment. You have to take those opportunities and we probably didn’t take as many as we would have liked. We were disappointed with a few things but to get that score, it gives you a wee bit of leeway and room to put the pressure on them to play a bit more. It definitely helps and got us across the line today.

Did you think you were going to get another try before you scored your second?

I thought I was free and I looked around, it might have been [Alex] Mitchell who got me in the end. When you see the whitewash, your eyes light up a wee bit! I was just glad that we got across the line today with a bonus point and we’re now into the last 16, so that’s the most important part.

How much has the experience of playing knock-out rugby in last year’s Challenge Cup brought you to where you are today as a squad?

I think we took a massive learning from the Leicester game that we headed out of in the semi-final. We never want to experience something like that again and the way we lost the game. It’s always in the back of our heads, especially those big Cup games that we have lost out on. It’s about learning from those mistakes. Every success comes from downfalls or losses; it’s not all plain sailing, so it’s important we take those learnings from last season and bring them into this season.

How fun is it to play in this young back line?

It’s brilliant. We came up through the system together and with a few lads who are older than us, we’ve enjoyed each other’s company over the last few years. We played through school and now we’re playing on the biggest stage in Europe and it’s so much fun to play alongside your best mates. You can hold each other accountable when things aren’t going well and enjoy the good times as well.

How much are you as a back line coached and how much do you play heads-up rugby and play what is in front of you?

It’s a lot of learning from coaches to individual players and as a group. The main thing about a young back line is that we’re always keen to learn and improve. Any information we can get on board, we will soak it up like a sponge and hopefully put that out on the pitch. We’ve always been told to play heads-up rugby and there’s no fear factor in going out and playing. We all back each other to make the right decision and back each other on and off the pitch.

Up next at Kingpspan Stadium

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).

The following Friday 28 January, attention turns back to the United Rugby Championship, with Ulster hosting Scarlets (kick-off 7.35pm).

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