Episodes
Welcome to the Red Hand Podcast It’s been another tough week to be an Ulster fan as our Challenge Cup hopes were crushed by Clermont. Richie Murphy’s men were demolished in the second half after a pretty decent first half showing leaving fans and players feeling a bit shell shocked. Richie’s still at the wheel though and he needs time. He’s been parachuted in to a difficult situation and our new head coach and his squad need the backing of supporters. Depending on who you listen to in the...
Published 04/17/24
A different and somewhat special episode this week as we zoom out and consider the bigger picture at Ulster Rugby. Don’t worry, we will discuss the weekend’s action as well of course! Ulster secured a 40-17 point win over Montpellier to book their place in the quarter finals of the Challenge Cup in a game that perfectly demonstrated the old adage ‘it’s a game of two halves’. More on that in a second. The usual panel have been given a break this week in line with rugby podcasters rest...
Published 04/10/24
Published 04/10/24
Have Ulster successfully weathered the storm? Everything seems better and brighter around Ulster Rugby at the minute. The coaching team look happier, fans are more positive, the team are battling for 80 minutes. I’m keen not to get carried away and talk of a transformation is certainly premature, but I think anyone who has been paying attention to ulster has noticed green shoots of progress in the most recent performances. It’s difficult to explain but even though we lost, everyone – myself...
Published 04/03/24
The lads bid farewell to Jonny Petrie and consider what's next for Ulster Rugby...
Published 03/27/24
I’m joined this week by a very special guest and a name that will be familiar to all Ulster Rugby fans. A combative and abrasive second-row who played 34 times for the Wallabies, Justin’s connection to Ulster came when he joined the province in 2005 and captained the side to the Celtic league - their last piece of silverware. Justin was a key player for Australia for several seasons, famously playing in memorable fixtures such as the third Lions test in 2001 and the Rugby World Cup final in...
Published 03/15/24
The Ulster Rugby Soap opera continues. As we all know, following a recent plot-twist, one of the main characters was written out and the show has been revamped. New characters include understudy Dan Soper moving into the role of interim head coach and SPOILER ALERT he’s about to be reduced to a background character when Richie Murphy takes over the reins in the coming weeks. In Ulster, the script never seems to allow for a straightforward narrative, preferring to shake things up every few...
Published 03/07/24
Slow news day for Ulster Rugby... After the most dramatic 24 hours this season for fans of Ulster which saw head coach Dan depart the province, ending his tenure as the longest serving Ulster coach of the professional era, the panel have plenty to talk about. Where do we go from here? Who's next? Was there a game at the weekend? Sit back, enjoy the chat and don't forget to like and subscribe!
Published 02/21/24
Where to begin? The Red Hand is back to discuss Ulster crashing out of the Champions Cup and where we go from here. Consider it group therapy for Ulster fans. We will always back the players on the pitch but is it time for some new ideas to inspire this talented squad to fulfil their full potential?
Published 01/24/24
Everything was in place for a famous home win… A packed Ravenhill on its 100 year anniversary, the 99 squad were watching on 25 years on from their famous European Cup win and momentum from a couple of big wins… In the end, we got absolutely minced by a team who looked to be on another level. Du Pont magic together with the quality of the players around him overwhelmed Ulster who were second best in every area of the game. On a more positive note, we finally got to see some fabulous...
Published 01/17/24
This episode is from a while back - before Humphs was appointed head honcho of Irish Rugby. Where to even start with David Humphreys? Childhood hero, Ulster legend and one of the most significant figures in the history of Ulster Rugby. This one is from the archive and I thought I would put it out there given the fact we are 25 years on from when Humphs helped Ulster get crowned Kings of Europe in '99. What a legend. Enjoy.
Published 01/12/24
It's good to be back after a short Christmas break - hope you had a good one! Ulster have enjoyed an unbeaten run so far in 2024 and in the process of beating our provincial rivals, Ulster are now the number one province in Ireland. What a difference a few weeks makes. Ulster fans - is there anything better than beating Leinster at their place? The win was far from perfect but we still got the result. It was a heroic effort from the lads and it begs the question: what has galvanised the...
Published 01/03/24
"Never in doubt" Those were the words I was repeating after Ulster's inevitable demolition of Racing at Fortress Kingspan. Christmas has come early. Ulster are class again. Having been luke-warm to tepid so far this season, have Ulster been bubbling away beneath the surface? Are they now ready to boil over following their best performance in over a year? If you missed his post match interview, Dan said that he and some senior members of the squad had been spending time conducting experiments...
Published 12/20/23
Life as an Ulster fan is anything but boring and, as usual, there's plenty to discuss on the podcast this week. Let's start with the positives: Ulster Rugby have an incredibly large and loyal fanbase, a fancy new stadium and pitch and a talented squad with a number of really good prospects coming through. So, this begs the question why Dan McFarland's men are struggling on the pitch and why Ulster are in such a precarious position as an organisation. There's a saying that a fish rots from the...
Published 12/13/23
Welcome to the Red Hand Podcast. Are there dark clouds gathering at Ulster? Is a storm coming for the current head-coach? Following defeat at the weekend, Dan McFarland slammed the standards in training and, by extension, his own ability to coach the team. I’m not sure the words went down well with Ulster supporters, many of whom seemed not best pleased by the performance or Dan’s reaction. It’s just a game at the end of the day – a frivolous game, a bit of fun – entertainment – so...
Published 12/06/23
Dan McFarland’s men started like a steam train but ran out of track as Glasgow battled their way back into the game and won 33-20. Two tries within 11 minutes  from Tom Stewart and Cooney but Glasgow dominated the rest of the match. Three away games and two losses for Ulster (which could have very easily been three losses) Is it simply a case of ‘taking your lessons and moving on’ as Dan McFarland often says or are there more serious problems to be addressed? To answer these questions and...
Published 11/29/23
It was a miserable night and in many ways a pretty miserable game on Friday night against the Lions, but Ulster found a way to get the win so we’re going to stay positive! Despite being down by seven points at halftime, Dan McFarland’s men went up a gear in the second half and ultimately held on for a 24-17 victory. In horrendous conditions at fortress Ravenhill, it was not the most entertaining of games to put it lightly. Tries from James Hume, Stockdale and Rob Herring allowed Ulster to...
Published 11/22/23
It’s two weeks after Halloween but Ulster have done the ‘Munster Mash’, defeating their provincial rivals 21-14 at Fortress Ravenhill. Grave problems for Munster as, after the visitors drew first blood, they were guilty of coffin up the ball on too many occasions, allowing Ulster back into the game. Dan McFarland’s men held off Munster in the dying stages with Munster pummelling their line, and secured a historic victory. To discuss the game I’m joined by regular panelists Nathan, Jack,...
Published 11/15/23
If you're struggling to work out how to feel after the game at the weekend then you're not alone. We lost but... did we really win when you consider the performance exceeded all expectations? The answer, of course, is no. Your outlook on the game will depend on whether you're a glass-half-empty or glass-half-full type of person. Half of Ulster's fan-base has chosen to focus on the glass being partly full with several impressive individual performances, an early lead and a spirited effort...
Published 11/07/23
This week we're looking back at Ulster's battling win over the Bulls on Sunday and looking ahead to their clash with Connacht on Saturday. As always, there's plenty to discuss about the game which was a pretty entertaining watch (although I could have done without those nerve-racking few minutes at the end!) The new pitch is already paying for itself in terms of saving Ulster's laundry bills and, apart from that, we saw a more ambitious Ulster trying to keep the ball alive and bring our...
Published 11/02/23
Welcome back to the Red Hand Podcast. It has been a while. Now that the side-show distraction of the World Cup is over, we are back to the main event - the URC - as Ulster prepare to face Zebre away in their opening game. The dust has settled on yet another disappointing campaign as Ireland yet again crashed out in the quarters. We won't dwell on this - plenty has been said by others about their early departure. Suffice to say, we would have won if more Ulster men had been on the...
Published 10/18/23
I am delighted to be joined by Conor Carey. We have timed this podcast perfectly because Conor has just announced his retirement from professional rugby and is ready to reflect on a great career. Rugby fans in Ulster will know Conor as he is one who slipped through the net. He played rugby in Ulster up the age-groups and Ireland under 20s and then went on to have along and successful career - just not in Ulster (although he nearly came full circle last season...) Conor is also uniquely...
Published 06/23/23
I’m joined on this episode by Andrew Maxwell. Ulster fans will remember Andrew from his successful time with the club playing on the wing between 03/04 and 07 before joining Edinburgh. However, Andrew’s rugby career only forms part of his story: after hanging up his boots he transitioned seamlessly into the world of business, becoming co-owner of Irish Burrito chain, Boojum and now has another exciting and innovative venture which is set to revolutionise fast food in Belfast. I really...
Published 06/07/23
Mark Best came through the ranks with Ulster and Ireland before taking the 'road less travelled' of choosing an alternative path. I chat to Mark about his journey, what it's like to transition back into real life and now enjoying club rugby with Ballynahinch where he was recently man of the match in their Senior Cup Final victory over Queens. I really enjoyed chatting to Mark and I hope you enjoy listening. ps. If you have a spare few moments type 'Mark Best Highlights' into YouTube and...
Published 05/16/23