Ulster: Province did not 'throw the book out' after home defeats - Lowry

Ulster Edinburgh
Ulster's gritty win over Edinburgh kept alive their hopes of a top four finish in the United Rugby Championship
United Rugby Championship: Ulster v Sharks
Venue: Kingspan Stadium, Belfast Date: Friday, 20 May Kick-off: 19:35 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Two NI and the BBC iPlayer

Michael Lowry says Ulster did not feel the need to "throw the book out" after home defeats by Toulouse and Munster threatened to derail their season.

The province's European exit was swiftly followed by a damaging loss to their Irish rivals that left them facing an uphill battle to secure a top-four finish in the URC.

However, they bounced back with an impressive away win over Edinburgh.

"It was such an important win," reflected Lowry.

"In weeks gone by, yeah we had a few losses, but it wasn't about throwing the book out the window and starting again.

"It was very much that we just needed to up out game one more percent to get the results.

"That result came across the line and it definitely boosted morale and took a bit of pressure off us."

Lowry returned to full-back for the Edinburgh game and will again start at 15 for Ulster's final regular season match at home to the Sharks on Friday, having started at fly-half against Munster for the first time in the campaign.

He endured a difficult match as Ulster struggled to make an impact against Munster's suffocating defence, but Lowry remains confident that there is a future for him in the number 10 jersey.

"I definitely want to pursue it," he insisted.

"I want to grow my game to another level and if I have 10 nailed down at one stage then it'll make me a lot better player.

"I've played international level now at 15 and I really enjoy 15. I constantly work on my skills at 15 but also on the flipside I constantly work on the 10 skills that are needed, and just working alongside Billy (Burns) and Mags (Ian Madigan).

"Just constantly learning, because 10 is one of those positions you do need to constantly learn. You also do need to get a few games under your belt there.

"Apart from that Munster game I hadn't really had an awful lot of time in the 10 spot, maybe 10 minutes here or 15 minutes there but to actually go and start a game, I hadn't started in a year previous to that.

"It'll take time I suppose, similar to how it took time at 15 to actually really learn your position and play well in it."

Michael Lowry is tackled by Munster
Lowry's only start at fly-half this season came in Ulster's home defeat by Munster in April

Lowry, 23, has enjoyed a fine season during which he made his senior international debut - scoring two tries in Ireland's Six Nations win over Italy.

Competition for a starting berth remains tight at both club and country, with a place in Ireland's touring party for their three-match Test series against New Zealand on the line as the URC's play-offs come into view.

"I'm someone that competes against myself rather than competing against others, I find that works for me," Lowry said.

"I remember seeing something saying that if you compete against yourself you'll get better but if you compete against others you'll get bitter, which I quite liked.

"It allows me to improve a lot more, rather than me having a go at others when I'm getting beat by them."

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