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Ross leads the way as 'A' team grind out victory to qualify

Scarlets 13 Ulster 'A' 24

By Michael Sadlier

It was an arm-wrestle of a game, courtesy of the conditions at Llandovery, but Ulster 'A' still managed to prevail and make it through to the last eight of the British and Irish Cup for the second season running.

Kieran Campbell's squad, though, were unable to take ownership of a home knockout tie and must now travel to meet Bedford Blues on a date yet to be fixed.

Though they didn't take everything that was on offer by scoring three tries against the Scarlets Premiership Select to finish top of Pool Five, this was still an impressive effort by Ulster in the mud-spattered conditions and Campbell, rightly, praised them for the performance.

"It was a difficult place to play and obviously the conditions didn't make it the most fluid of games," said Campbell.

"But I think it showed the character and resolve which has been growing in this squad to grind out this win.

"We're a little bit disappointed we didn't get a bonus point and we would have liked to have had the home quarter-final. But, look, we don't fear going anywhere now and we're looking forward to playing against Bedford."

Campbell also had high praise for the side's senior players, including Clive Ross, Peter Browne and the returning Luke Marshall, who showed great leadership in digging out the result.

"This game saw a huge buy-in from the senior guys and all of them were exceptional for us," he said.

Though Ulster took a 10-0 lead through a Ross try and Peter Nelson conversion and penalty, the Scarlets came back to level matters. But a penalty try just before the break put Ulster 17-10 up and though the home side narrowed their lead through a penalty, Ulster had the final say when skipper John Andrew drove over with Nelson's conversion ending the scoring. Campbell is confident that the province can get the result they need at Bedford.

"We're in a very good position to go there and do very well," added Campbell.

Ulster 'A': J Owens, A Kernohan, L Marshall, C Patterson, A Cairns, P Nelson, J Stewart; T O'Hagan, J Andrew (capt), T O'Toole, P Browne, C Ross, C Montgomery, M Agnew, M Rea Subs: Z McCall, E O'Sullivan, M Dalton, A Hall, G Jones, M Stronge, R Butler.

• All the local senior rugby fixtures at the weekend were postponed due to the weather.

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