Tommy Bowe optimistic Ulster still in mix for European progress
Last updated on .From the section Rugby Union
|European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 3: Ulster v Scarlets|
|Venue: Kingspan Stadium Date: Saturday, 6 December Kick-off: 19:45 GMT|
|Coverage: Live commentary on Radio Ulster MW 1341 and the BBC Sport website from 19:00 GMT|
Ulster wing Tommy Bowe believes the team can still qualify for the knockout stages of the European Champions Cup.
The province are bottom of Pool 3 after losing their two opening fixtures to Leicester and Toulon and now face back-to-back ties against the Scarlets.
They need a minimum of two wins to get back into contention in the group.
"People talk about needing 20 points to qualify but I think there will be a few teams who won't make 20 points and will still qualify," said Bowe.
A try-scoring bonus point victory at Kingspan Stadium on Saturday night would propel Ulster back into the reckoning in a difficult group, with the side still having to face back-to-back Heineken Cup champions Toulon in France in January.
|Ulster's Pool 3 Champions Cup fixtures|
|Leicester (away)||Lost 25-18|
|Toulon (home)||Lost 13-23|
|Scarlets (home)||Saturday 6 December 2014|
|Scarlets (away)||Sunday 14 December 2014|
|Toulon (away)||16, 17 or 18 January 2015|
|Leicester (home)||23, 24 or 25 January 2015|
"We know by not winning our first two matches we have made life incredibly difficult for ourselves," admitted Bowe, who signalled his return to top form with tries in Ireland's recent victories against South Africa and Australia.
"You've seen the way the results have gone. There's very few teams who have gone out there and got maximum points.
"We need two wins first and foremost.
"We've got to look at getting bonus points where we can. especially at home we would love to pick up maximum points and that is the aim, but that can't be in our mind at the start.
"We have to be going out there to win. If we can pull away and get more points at the end, so be it. but Scarlets will be looking forward to this too.
"They have won one match and put up a great fight away to Toulon, so we know we have a massive task ahead. but we're massively excited about the next two weeks.
"As a team we know how good we are, as a collective and individuals, and come a big European night we need to pull it out."