Hall: Ulster boost would rocket Glasgow for title take-off

DOUGIE HALL believes a win over Ulster in Friday night's Pool Four Heineken Cup tie would be a priceless mental boost for Glasgow's PRO12 title ambitions.

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Hall believes that beating Ulster will be the mark of a great Warriors side
Hall believes that beating Ulster will be the mark of a great Warriors side

Gregor Townsend's side will meet them for the third time this term having lost in both domestic and European action previously.

Glasgow's hopes of qualifying for the knock-out stages of the elite tournament have gone.

But any intention Warriors, who lie second in the PRO12 behind Mark Anscombe's men, have of homing in on a first ever league title will ultimately rest on their ability to beat Ulster.

So it is no surprise that hooker Hall claims there is extra significance attached to Friday night's game which will be shown live on Sky.

He said: "Ulster are probably the best team in Europe right now and if we want to win this one we will need to perform for the full 80 minutes.

"The problem in the first two games was that we did not manage to do that. In the first game we were hit hard by breakaway tries and in the second ultimately they played poor conditions better than us in the second half.

"But there wasn't much in it in either game and while our Heineken Cup hopes have gone, we know that if we want to be the best in the PRO12 we have to beat Ulster.

"Our final two games in the Heineken are away at Ulster this Friday and at home to Northampton on Saturday week and if we could win these two games it would be a huge boost for the remainder of the PRO12 season."

While the 32-year-old may be reaching veteran status, Hall has recently reclaimed supremacy over the No.2 jersey with his usual consistency coming to the fore.

But ahead of Friday's Ravenhill re-match the thoughtful hooker admits that Glasgow's concentration levels will need to be at their highest.

The Scotland international said: "When you play Ulster it is not the same as playing against other sides in the PRO12.

"Like most of the Irish sides their aggression at the breakdown is ferocious while you always have to be aware of the choke tackle which they specialise in.

"But I think the key for us in this one is that we focus 100% on doing our job the best we can.

"The set piece both in the scrum and at the line out will need to be rock solid and discipline wise we are going to have to make sure we give them nothing for free.

"I would say that in some aspects the game with Treviso last Friday was a good preparation for this one given the physicality the Italians put into their game.

"But there is no question we have a point to prove against Ulster and also some pride to salvage. A victory at Ravenhill would achieve both of these."

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