Humphreys praises forwards
Fly-half indebted to his pack after Ulster make winning start
Last Updated: 12/11/11 10:57pm
Humphreys: Scored all of Ulster's points
Ulster fly-half Ian Humphreys praised his forwards despite scoring all the points in their 16-11 Heineken Cup victory over Clermont Auvergne on Saturday.
Humphreys kicked three penalties in addition to converting his own second-half try as Ulster came from 11-3 down to remain unbeaten in their past nine European games at Ravenhill.
Humphreys felt indebted to his pack, though, in particular their scrum, as they forced the French on to the back foot.
Stephen Ferris headlined their efforts with a man-of-the-match performance, and Humphreys said: "Tonight just proved how good our forwards are. I don't think we took a backward step anywhere.
"I suppose we're slightly disappointed to give them a losing bonus point.
"But nobody wants to come here. We've showed when we can play in bad weather and good weather. Going forward it gives a lot of confidence for Leicester (who Ulster play next)."
Humphreys also praised Adam d'Arcy, Ulster's replacement full-back whose second-half run set up his try.
"He made a break from nothing and I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time," the former Leicester player said.
Ulster face Humphrey's former club Leicester next weekend, but the fly-half said a return to Welford Road would not change his preparations.
"That is (being a former Leicester player) just in the back of my mind," he said.
"I had a great time there but obviously I want to get the win on Saturday."
Clermont second row Nathan Hines was disappointed at the result but admitted that coming away with a losing bonus point was a useful return.
"Probably in a few days time we'll be happy with the bonus point," he said.
"We started OK but they put us under enormous pressure at the scrum and that's how they kept in the game."
As for a large number of missed place kicks from three different kickers - Morgan Parra, David Skrela and Brock James - Hines refused to blame their inaccuracy.
"You can't rely on you place kickers," was all the former Scotland second row said while emphasising that Clermont will have to produce a bonus point win next weekend when they entertain Aironi.
The French side's points all came in the first half from a Noa Nakaitaci try and two Skrela penalties.