Ulster travel to run away Guinness PRO14 Conference B leaders Leinster on Saturday evening looking to bounce back from a costly defeat at Connacht
Dan McFarland’s side are 16 points behind the defending champions, but getting no match points in Galway has allowed the chasing pack to close on Ulster, Benetton are two points behind with Edinburgh and Scarlets - who have lost their last two games - a further point adrift.
Ulster have only one competitive win against Leinster in Dublin since 1999 but Adam McBurney knows Leo Cullen’s side are not invincible.
“There is no denying what they have done in the last year or previous years too,” acknowledges the hooker. “They are a good side, Munster gave them a good challenge last week and managed to get one over them even though there was a red card which shows they are beatable.
“ And in the Champinos Cup, Toulouse beat them at home. We know they are a great side but not unbeatable and stranger things have happened.”
McBurney added: “We’re going down with the focus we want to put in a good performance and put points back on the board after last week’s loss.
“Leinster are flying high and top of the Conference. Last week would have helped us and every game is massive especially when it is interpros.
“ Treviso and Edinburgh had two good wins, it’s tight but at the moment it is still in our hands and that is the best way to look at it we don’t have to rely on anyone if we keep winning and get the points we’ll be fine.”
Leinster have the ability to put out two all international front rows and McBurney who has never played at the RDS before is relishing the challenge at the coal face.
“We’re really excited and looking forward to what side they put out and as front row we’re looking forward to getting stuck into them.”
“Away at the RDS to a strong Leinster side is going to be very challenging around the scrum, and the set piece, it is a great test but after last week we are looking to bounce back and with Racing the following week it will be a good test for us to see where we are coming into the European Cup fixture.”
“We’re familiar with a lot of those players and we know that is their strength but we’ll be looking to do what we do and get are drills right at set piece time and focus on us not what they are going to do.
“We’re looking forward to see what we can do against that we’re going to be challenged to the upmost and we’re looking forward to getting stuck into them.”
McBurney has featured eight times for Ulster this season but with Rory Best and Rob Herring ahead of him in the pecking order he knows he must grasp every opportunity he gets.
“I’d probably be stupid if I said I should start ahead of Rory Best every week or Rob Herring they are both playing great rugby, the only way I can dictate that is going out there with every opportunity I get and playing my best rugby and then it is in the coaches hands it’s not in my hands who are selected in the team, the only thing I can do is go out there and play my best rugby.”
“This year I have had more opportunities than in previous years and I’m thankfully for that, it’s about what I can add to the team and doing my best for them and whatever minutes I get making the most of them and making it count.”
“I know the strength in depth at hooker and the players I have around me are great to be learning of and I want to be playing week in and week out and every opportunity I get I want to show what I can do and add to the team and not worry what else is around me.”