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Best ready for tense season finish

Best ready for tense season finish

British & Irish Lions hooker Rory Best is looking forward to a high-stakes run-in after leading club side Ulster to an important victory this weekend.

British & Irish Lions hooker Rory Best is looking forward to a high-stakes run-in after leading club side Ulster to an important victory this weekend.

Best, who toured Australia with the Lions in 2013, lined up against a Leinster starting XV that featured as many as five Lions in Belfast.

However, Ulster came out on top to end their provincial rivals’ hopes of clinching a third straight title and boost their own chances of lifting some silverware.

South Africa scrum-half Ruan Pienaar, who played his part in a series victory over the Lions back in 2009, kicked 16 points as Ulster came from behind and Best was impressed with his side’s resilience.

“It’s basically cup finals all the way with the calibre of teams we are playing,” he said. “When we play big teams here, big games and you get sell-outs, it’s an unbelievable atmosphere but we have to give them something to get behind.

“Their back was against the wall a bit, they had to win to keep their hopes alive. For us it was important to win. We talked about little steps along the way – guarantee the top four and then look at what else we can get – and it was important to get the win for that.

“We knew they would come here and really attack us from the off and we just made a couple of silly, nervous mistakes in the first ten minutes.

“The way we ground out the second half in that weather – you have to be immensely proud of the way we went about that.”

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