Munster coach Tony McGahan tips Ulster for Heineken Cup glory

Munster coach Tony McGahan
Munster coach Tony McGahan

Munster coach Tony McGahan thinks Ulster have a great chance of being crowned Heineken Cup champions.

McGahan praised Ulster's defence after the team withstood a Munster onslaught in the second half at Thomond Park.

"They are an exceptional side and their defence was superb, the way they scrambled, the way they defended. It was a complete package," he said.

"There is absolutely no doubt they have the capabilities of being a Heineken Cup-winning side."

McGahan is scheduled to leave Munster at the end of the season to return to Australia to take up a position as the Wallabies' new defence coach.

He was full of admiration for the way Ulster tackled and kept his Munster team at bay during a thrilling quarter-final on Sunday, which Ulster won 22-16.

"They have a mature side, an all-round side, and I thought their defence was just outstanding," he said.

"They made the quarter-finals last year and progressed again to make the semi-finals.

"They have a tough nut to crack in Edinburgh but certainly, if you look at their form over the whole season, they have all the capabilities of being a Heineken Cup-winning side."

Stephen Ferris has revealed his ankle injury was a big concern in the build-up to the game but insisted that he will be able to play in the semi-final against Edinburgh at the Aviva Stadium on 28 April.

"Everybody was asking me, "how's the ankle?" Ferris said.

"I was saying, 'it's 100% - minus 20!'

"Ask any of the Munster or Ulster lads and it's very seldom that you run out on a rugby pitch 100% (fit).

"I didn't get the run-out I wanted last week (against Aironi) but I worked hard to get myself fit. I have a few niggles, a sore shoulder and a sore ankle. But nothing will keep me out of the semi-final."

Ferris has won a Grand Slam with Ireland and was selected in the British and Irish Lions squad in 2009, but rates Sunday's triumph as being as good as anything he has achieved in his career to date.

"It's up there, it certainly was a massive highlight for me, but of course it can get better when you win a semi-final or win a Heineken Cup," he said.

"Playing at the Aviva for my club is something I've never done before and hopefully the Ulster fans will get behind us once more."