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Anscombe hails return of bubbly Ferris but admits Pienaar's shoulder 'dodgy'
The Ulster coach feels his returning flanker can play a big part in the business end of the season once he is properly eased back into play.

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ULSTER COACH MARK ANSCOMBE was delighted with the impressive comeback of flanker Stephen Ferris during his side’s 26-13 league win over Scarlets on Friday.

Ferris put 16 months of injury trouble behind him as he made an instant impact during his 27-minute second-half substitute’s appearance. He made a massive hit in his first play and should no signs of rustiness having been out of the game since picking up an ankle injury in November 2012.

Anscombe said, “Stephen’s pretty bubbly. 16 months to come back and I suppose the script was written for him to come back — his first play with the ball being put up in the air. He couldn’t have gotten a better script written if he had asked.”

“Credit it to him,” Anscombe added. “He’s had his ups and downs that you wouldn’t wish on any player. It shows the resilience of the guy to be able to hang in there and keep the confidence. He looked for work today, got keener and was bubbly. He’s bouncing so that’s great for everyone.

We’ve got to be patient. Don’t expect too much and don’t demand too much. Keep his feet on the ground. There’s a lot of rugby to be played this year and we want him to be part of it.”

Addressing the knock to his star scrum-half, Anscombe said, “Yeah, he’s looking a bit dodgy. That could be a week or two.” The Kiwi added that prop Callum Black [ankle sprain] may also be out of action until the end of the month.

– additional reporting by Megan Joyce

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