Heineken Champions Cup: Failure to progress would be 'unacceptable' - Herring

Rob Herring
John Cooney scored Ulster's only try in their defeat by Clermont Auvergne at the Stade Marcel Michelin

Rob Herring says that "everything is on the line" before Ulster's final European Champions Cup Pool match against Bath.

Ulster know victory over the English outfit at Kingspan Stadium would book their spot in the quarter-finals.

Dan McFarland's men can still top Pool Three but need Harlequins to beat Clermont Auvergne.

"With where we are as a club, it would be unacceptable not to be there," said Herring on the knockout stages.

He added: "We want to be a side that is competing at the back end of the season.

"To do that you have to win the play-off type games, and it is obviously a massive game for us."

Defeat away to Clermont ended Ulster's unbeaten start in Europe and put the French outfit in control of the pool. However, Herring says his side still have to belief they take top spot.

"There were positives to take from the first half but we also have to look at the opportunities that we didn't finish," added the Ireland hooker.

"We probably let ourselves down a bit, particularly when they had a man down, so it was maybe a bit disappointing in that regard.

"We would have loved to have secured that top spot, and we can still go and get it, but we have to look after what we do on the pitch first."

Ulster Bath
Ulster edged out Bath in their opening Pool Three encounter at the Recreation Groud

Bath are out of contention when it comes to knockout rugby but Herring says the English side still pose a threat.

"You only have to look at the stars that they have in their side," he added.

"They have threats from everywhere - and with nothing to play for, they potentially might throw the ball around a bit more.

"We are going to have to front up again and see what they have to offer. Anything other than play-off rugby is not good for us."