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'A' team aim to stay on target by delivering home victory


By Michael Sadlier

Ulster 'A' can take a significant step towards qualifying for the knockout stages of the British and Irish Cup by beating Hartpury College for the second time in a week when the sides meet at Eaton Park today (kick-off 2.30).

Though the plan will be not to leave matters so late this time - only David Busby's late try secured the 29-24 win in Gloucestershire - and the prospect of back-to-back wins should bring extra focus for coach Kieran Campbell's side.

Thanks to the Cornish Pirates unexpectedly losing at the Scarlets, Ulster sit in third but, crucially, on equal points with the clubs from the west country and west Wales who meet in Penzance tomorrow.

Another bonus point victory, to follow on from last Saturday's maximum pointer, would put Ulster in a very good place in Pool Five with the two final group games to come next month - at home to the Pirates and away at Scarlets.

Selection-wise, Campbell and assistant coach Willie Anderson have retained the same pack with number eight Greg Jones skippering again.

Jonny Stewart and Johnny McPhillips are retained at half-back but there have been changes elsewhere with a new centre combination of Jack Owens and Brett Herron while Rob Lyttle moves to 15 and Angus Kernohan comes in on the right wing to play at his home club Ballymena.

The bench, interestingly, contains Ballymena Academy pupil Stewart Moore.

"This week's game is massively important and if we win it, it'll put us in a really good position coming into the final games," said 18-year-old Kernohan.

Ulster 'A': R Lyttle, A Kernohan, J Owens, B Herron, D Busby, J McPhillips, J Stewart; T O'Hagan, A McBurney, T O'Toole, P Browne, M Dalton, C Ross, A Hall, G Jones (capt)

Subs: Z McCall, E O'Sullivan, C Montgomery, M Agnew, D Shanahan, S Moore, A Cairns

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