Skipper Dowson revels in ‘huge’ victory at Ulster

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Phil Dowson says Saturday’s win at Ulster was ‘way up there’ in terms of his best Saints moments.

The flanker skippered the side in the absence of Dylan Hartley, leading them to a fine 10-9 win at Ravenhill.

Ulster had been big favourites to complete the double over Saints after routing their English opponents 25-6 at Franklin’s Gardens eight days earlier.

They had won all 13 of their games this season going into the clash, and had not been beaten at home in Europe since 2008.

But those records came tumbling down as ‘Captain Fantastic’ Dowson led his Saints troops to victory, keeping their pool four hopes alive in the process.

“It’s huge,” said the England forward. “We asked for a reaction after the disappointing game the week before and to be involved and captain the team and be in that environment at a place like Ravenhill is the kind of challenge we play for and to come out on top was outstanding.

And when asked where the win ranked alongside his best Saints achievements, Dowson, who joined from Newcastle Falcons in 2009, said: “It’s way up there because of what Ulster have done this year, what happened last week and we needed to win and we pulled it out.

“We talked about intensity and it’s very easy to talk about it but you’ve got to run out there and you’ve got to do it.

“I think everyone in the squad, from one to 23, did that. It was an unbelievable reaction.”