Heineken Cup: Ulster’s Rory Best praises Aviva Stadium support

The familiar surroundings of the Aviva Stadium were crucial in Ulster's march to the Heineken Cup final, according to Rory Best

rory best
Ulster stalwart Rory Best Photo: Peter Clarke, via Wikimedia

rory best

Ireland hooker Rory Best is used to playing at the Aviva Stadium, but the Ulster stalwart still praised the fervent Irish support for propelling his side to the Heineken Cup final.

Best, who captained Ireland at the Six Nations earlier this year, was in familiar surroundings on Saturday as he ran out at the Aviva Stadium.

But this time it wasn’t in the familiar green but the white of Ulster as the Belfast side eased passed Edinburgh 22-19 to reach a first Heineken Cup final since 1999.

And Best insists the support he and his Ulster team-mates received from the Aviva Stadium crowd played a crucial role in keeping the European dream alive.

“This is massive for Ulster Rugby. It has been talked about so much in recent weeks and the support has been immense,” said Best.

“There is a group of us – Nigel Brady, Stephen Ferris, Declan Fitzpatrick, Paddy Wallace and Andrew Trimble – that have come through a lot of dark days and stuck around to try to get to an occasion like this.

“And the support we have all had has been absolutely fantastic. Right from the start of the day when we left the hotel, got on the bus, arrived at the ground and all through the day.

“The Ulster fans were like a 16th man to us. I’m delighted to be in the final, but credit to Edinburgh – they put it up to us and the game was in the balance right to the last minute.”

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