Heineken Cup Pool 5: Johann Muller praises Ruan Pienaar after Ulster beat Leicester
Last Updated: 18/01/14 10:22pm
Captain Johann Muller heaped praise on Ruan Pienaar after the South African inspired Ulster to a 22-19 Heineken Cup victory over Leicester.
Scrum-half Pienaar scored all of Ulster's points in the victory at Welford Road, which ensures Ulster will take the top seeding into the knockout stages of the tournament.
The 1999 champions will now play Saracens in the last eight at Ravenhill and Muller was quick to point out that Pienaar was the driving force behind the win over the Tigers.
"It seems like it's happening every week, when he scores all the points," he said of Pienaar.
"I came here with him yesterday to do kicking practice and he did not miss one all day. He was outstanding and kicked them from 60, 62 metres. From a captain's point of view it gives you a lot of confidence.
"A huge amount of credit to him and it doesn't just happen. He puts a huge amount of work in, he puts hours and hours into his kicking and it's wonderful when it pays off."
Ulster's win means they top Pool 5 with six wins out of six and in April will have a chance to avenge last season's quarter-final defeat at Saracens.
Muller added: "We came here to get a home quarter-final. Sarries totally outplayed us last season. They are a great side and don't mind going away to get a result.
"It's two months away and at this stage we will just enjoy the moment. We have not achieved anything yet and there's a huge amount of work left if we are to achieve something."
Leicester led 19-9 after a 49th-minute try by winger Niall Morris had put them in the driving seat but Pienaar then charged down a clearing kick from Toby Flood before pouncing on the loose ball for a try which provided the spark for an Ulster comeback.
"We're disappointed with the result, but it was a good game," Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill said.
"It was very tight margins and we dropped the wrong side of those margins. Ten points up, we needed to control the game better but we did not manage the back field as well as we would have liked and they exposed us.
"To lose to a charge-down kick is disappointing but you make your own luck.
"I am not going to criticise us. The luck of the draw fell their way tonight and that happens in sport. It wasn't for a lack of effort. We played some good stuff and you just have to take it on the chin."
Leicester, who suffered their first home defeat in the competition since 2006-2007, face a quarter-final away to either Toulon or Clermont Auvergne.