Humphreys deflects praise onto pack
November 12, 2011
Ian Humphreys lands a penalty during his side's dramatic win over Clermont Auvergne © Getty Images
Ian Humphreys scored all of Ulster's points in their stirring 16-11 victory over Heineken Cup Pool 4 rivals Clermont Auvergne on Saturday but the fly-half felt that the province's forwards deserved all of the credit for the upset win.
Humphreys kicked three penalties and then converted his own try as the home side recovered from the shock of conceding a try to Seru Noa Nakaitaci after just six minutes of play to kick off their European campaign in fine style. Humphreys' contribution had been significant but he felt that the pack had laid the foundations for the victory.
"Tonight just proved how good our forwards are," he said. "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 [next weekend]."
Humphreys was also full of praise for Adam D'Arcy, the replacement back who created Ulster's only try of the game. "He made a break from nothing and I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time," the Ulster No.10 said.
Meanwhile, Clermont lock Nathan Hines was also of the opinion that the game had been won and lost up front, with the Scot admitting that he and his fellow forwards had come off second best in the set-piece. "We started OK but they put us under enormous pressure at the scrum and that's how they kept in the game," he said.
Morgan Parra kicked two penalties for Clermont but he struggled with the conditions, as did his team-mates Morgan Parra and Brock James. However, Hines did not feel the trio deserved any blame for Clermont's defeat. "You can't rely on you place kickers," he said.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
As Ray McLoughlin prepares to celebrate his 75th birthday, Huw Richards pays tribute to the man and the selectors who had the wisdom to bring him into the Ireland fold
John Taylor argues the world's best XVs players must be given a chance to play in the Olympics to increase the appeal of the game
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament