Johann Muller says Ulster must match the power of Munster's pack to have any chance of causing a Heineken Cup upset in Limerick on Sunday.
Munster and Leinster have been Ireland's dominant forces in Europe in recent seasons, but Ulster believe they are getting closer to their rivals.
"We know their pack will want to dominate," said Muller.
"They are a great scrummaging side and they have a great line-out. We have got to match them or we will lose."
Ulster reached the quarter-finals last year, for the first time since winning the tournament in 1999, but lost away to Northampton.
The Ravenhill club have invested heavily on overseas talent like Muller and scrum-half Ruan Pienaar in an attempt to be regular challengers at the top table of European rugby.
South African lock Muller says the margins between success and failure can be tight in major cup clashes.
"Quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals are all about the small things," added Muller.
"It is all about making sure you do the little things really well. Normally if you do that, the scoreboard and the result will look after itself.
"Obviously first phase is key, especially against a side like Munster."
Muller was heartened by performance of the Ulster forwards in Friday's 45-7 Pro12 win over Aironi on Friday night.
"We lost two line-outs, but our scrum was really good.
"Rory, Tom and John did a very good job up front and the back five put their hands up as well.
"But we know the animal we are playing next week is a totally different one. We need to do our homework this week and make sure we plan accordingly."