Monday 18 December 2017

Ulster 'A' bid for home quarter-final in Jersey trip

Ulster's Alan O'Connor. Photo: Ramsey Cardy / Sportsfile
Ulster's Alan O'Connor. Photo: Ramsey Cardy / Sportsfile

Tom Rooney

Ulster 'A' are in the enviable position of knowing that a win over Jersey Reds this afternoon (KO 2.0) will not only see them progress to the knock-out stages of the British and Irish Cup for the first time in five years, but also guarantee a home-quarter-final.

Sitting at the top of Pool 1 on 19 points, the northern province have won four of their five group games to date, with their only loss coming at the hands of London Scottish in October.

However, Jersey, who Ulster beat in round one, also have plenty to play for. They are just a point behind Kieran Campbell and Willie Anderson's charges, so a victory at St Peter would be enough for them to snatch that home quarter-final from Ulster.

Ulster welcome back lock and skipper Alan O'Connor, while the dynamic Jacob Stockdale comes in on the wing, and the powerful back-row of Stephen Mulholland, Conor Joyce and Lorcan Dow remains.

Meanwhile, the Connacht Eagles have nothing on the line but pride for their trip to the Cornish Pirates (KO 2.0).

At the bottom of Pool 3, having lost all their games, Mossy Lawler's men will hope to end their campaign on a high note.

Ireland U-20 lock Peter Claffey is among the replacements after 10 months out with injury, while hooker Shane Delahunt will add grunt up front.

Leinster stay in mix

Leinster 'A' kept their slim British & Irish Cup hopes alive with a 71-17 win over Richmond at Donnybrook last night.

Results later today will determine the fate of Hugh Hogan's side, but thanks to 11 tries, they remain in contention for a spot in the quarter-finals.

Leinster had a nightmare start as Richmond winger Luke Outhwaite crossed their whitewash after 38 seconds. The hosts responded with a try from prop Peter Dooley, and despite conceding a second Richmond five-pointer to Timmy Walford, Jimmy O'Brien (two), Tom Daly and Barry Daly gave Leinster a 33-17 interval cushion.

LEINSTER 'A' - B Dardis; H Keenan, J O'Brien (C Frawley 30), T Daly, B Daly; C Marsh (J Larmour 62), C Rock (N McCarthy h-t); P Dooley (E Byrne 51), B Byrne (S McNulty 62), J Loughman (O Heffernan 51); M Kearney, I Nagle; P Timmins, D Aspil (P Boyle 62), M Deegan.

RICHMOND - T Platt (S O'Hagan 35); T Harris, M Freeman, T Quarendon (S Evans 62), L Outhwaite (J Swan 51); F Gabbitass, C Grant; T Walford (J Doherty 65), R Townsend (A Post 59), A Boland (A Wood 54); M Crawford, A Lee (O Roberts 63); R Halsall, T Sargeant, S Edwards.

Ref - G Newman (WRU)

Irish Independent

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