Mike Lowry: Cut out careless mistakes and Ulster will be on the right track

BKT United Rugby Championship: Ulster v Cardiff (Friday, Kingspan Stadium, 7.35pm)

Ulster  Mike Lowry scores a try against  Dragons during SaturdayÕs  URC match at Kingspan Stadium.
Picture by Brian Little
Mike Lowry hopes Ulster can learn from last week's mistakes when they take on Cardiff in the United Rugby Championship on Friday night. Picture by Brian Little

MIKE Lowry insists focus will be the key for Ulster winning the United Rugby Championship, as they prepare to face Cardiff at Kingspan Stadium on Friday night.

The utility back pinpointed key moments in last weekend’s defeat to Clermont where Ulster switched off and were punished by the French team.

“The results look that way but little moments change that game,” said Lowry, “if we’re winning that moment and not losing a small moment it makes a massive difference.

“Like, there was maybe a moment when we had Clermont trapped at 13-7 with five minutes to go in their own 22 and [Aliveriti] Raka makes a break through the middle.

“These are the little things where we know we’re so close that, if we get that right and get a penalty or something and trap them in there, we can go into the lead at half-time and not be chasing the game.

“So, little things are massive momentum swings, especially when you’re in the likes of Clermont’s stadium or the likes of Toulouse.

“Once they feel like they’re getting ahead of you and they’ve got momentum, they’re a difficult beast to stop and then we start chasing the game and that’s where things start to get a little bit loose.

“We’re not that far away.”

Ulster have lost three of their last four games, but Lowry believes results will come if they can cut out mistakes.

“Staying switched on and work-rate - if you’re not working hard enough that’s when you can switch off a bit, and it could be a 10 second period where someone or a couple of lads switch off and don’t help each other, talking to each other on the run and that’s what can lose that little moment and it’s a massive swing.

“That incident in Clermont... it happens so quickly and all of a sudden, we were 13 points down after that when actually we could have scored off that.

“So just being in the moment, every detail has started to matter and rugby is absolutely mental at the moment - you see that in every game. Teams are switching off and more teams are getting a lot smarter in attack and realising opportunities so, yeah, just staying switched on and working together and communicating as well.”

Lowry starts on the wing in Friday night’s must-win game against a Cardiff side that have lost their last seven games.

“We want to put smiles on faces, and the first thing we can do is show how hard we work for each other and go and have fun and play for 80 minutes and be on it the whole time.

“Hopefully on the back of that we can start getting things we’ve been working on in training flourishing.

“There’s been a lot of change over the last few weeks, the travel, everything adds up so it will take time and I’m hoping it’s going to show soon.”