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It may have been pre-season but Ulster simply weren't good enough against Glasgow: Andrew


Not happy: John Andrew knows Ulster can do better
Not happy: John Andrew knows Ulster can do better

By Michael Sadlier

It hardly mattered that it was a friendly, Ulster's defeat last Saturday still cut deep with John Andrew.

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He had been benched as Rob Herring returned, which was also where Andrew had begun the first game with Glasgow Warriors the previous weekend when Adam McBurney started.

Indeed, this season will be a key one for Andrew as, with Rory Best now gone, both he and McBurney will be vying to be the main back-up for Herring.

Already, last season, Andrew and McBurney locked horns with the other to essentially be viewed as Ulster's most viable third option in the middle of the scrum.

Now things have changed, their rivalry is bound to be even more intense as Andrew, the elder of the two, nears five years since his December 2014 debut.

"Even though it was a friendly (last Saturday), you don't want to lose any games - especially against a team that will probably be up there at the end of the season just like last year," said Andrew of the squad who beat them in last season's Guinness PRO14 semi-final clash.

Also, this time around, the two teams are in the same PRO14 Conference.

There are plenty of work-ons before next week's PRO14 home opener with the Ospreys, but one area is Ulster's maul defence which leaked three tries last weekend.

"That wasn't good enough," said the 26-year-old and 56-times-capped hooker.

"Going into the PRO14, teams are going to be looking at that and targeting us.

"Before the Ospreys game, we'll be working hard to try to rectify that."

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