There are anoraks and there are anoraks, but I think I must be closer to a Burberry!
In order to write a preview which makes any sense at all, one is expected to know something about one's opposition, their playing record and personnel. In the case of Ulster, I know even less than usual. That'd be difficult, I hear you cry. Yes it is, but someone has to prop up the class from underneath, and his name ain't always Atlas!
I have to say that, at present, our lack of consistency (or indeed of anything much) offers the previewer little reward other than egg on one's face. On paper this is a dead rubber. I know the Club talks it up, but we really don't have expectations, do we?
We do? Then please add your thoughts to this thread!
My excuse for ignorance this week is that I have a day job, and keeping up with the GP is quite enough for me! As a non-Irishman without Sky TV, I can't quite get into the Celtic League. After watching Cardiff last week, I start to think I should, but it's too little, too late for this week's HC round.
However .... according to the LI publicists we have sold more than 12,000 tickets for this game, so maybe there are enough others out there who know enough to add to this thread with intelligent, informed previews of their own, based on at least some knowledge of the subject! (On the other hand these people may exist only in the publicists' imagination! They have been chucking the 12,000 number about for a fortnight now. You'd expect them to have sold a few more in that time, wouldn't you?)
From what little I have read, these Ulstermen are on something of a roll this year after quite a while in rugby's boondocks, promising much in September and achieving comparatively little come season's end.
People seem now to speak of them with more respect, and refer me to a number of their young players (e.g. Trimble) who are on the rise and starting to get into the Ireland team, or at least onto Eddie's Christmas card list. Every time I open the paper I find yet another article wondering whether a number of their internationals will be back on duty having been wrestling with the All Blacks or whoever.
Our late lamented Dawso cannot normally get a starting spot in his new team, who will have Australia's answer to Steven Hawking playing, in the guise of Justin "the plank" Harrison, Gobby Dawson's alleged best friend. Their supporters surmise that if X plays they will be able to field a XV containing 15 internationals, with the implication that most or at least many are current internationals.
I have neither the time nor the will to start a research project simply to bring all you eager beavers the benefits of my newly acquired second hand knowledge, so this is where you take over...., well, this week anyway!
Attach your doubtless well-informed Previews below please, on the same thread. This one. Got it?
Well, that's OK then!