The teams have been announced for Ulster A’s British and Irish Cup Pool decider against Jersey Reds which takes place tomorrow afternoon at St Peter, Jersey.
There are a few changes to the side that won their British and Irish Cup fixture against London Scottish last weekend, most noticeably the withdrawal of Darren Cave and Craig Gilroy who will now be in action for the senior side after lighting up the second half last week. The inclusion of Jacob Stockdale, for Gilroy, should ensure that Ulster still has a cutting edge.
It’s the changes up front that are perhaps more worrying with, the Man of the Match, Tom O’Hagan and fellow props Ricky Lutton and Craig Trenier all unavailable this week for front row duties. A stable scrum is the foundation of any team. Prop Peter Cooper has had a couple of run outs this season but, from my records at least, this appears to be the first outing for Eric O’Sullivan, in Ulster anyway!
the inclusion of Alan O’Connor, for Robbie Diack, won’t lessen the power in the boiler house so we will just have to wait and see how the front row copes.
Looking at the possible outcomes for this weekend it’s reasonably certain that Ulster A will qualify for the knockout stages of the British and Irish Cup, as should Jersey Reds, but this match is all about who gets that all important home fixture so there should be enough at stake to keep it interesting.
We’ve reviewed all the possible outcomes earlier this morning and to ensure a home draw Ulster need to be looking at a draw at least. It’s a good Jersey side, so I expect it will be a tight one! (Tight Jersey – geddit?)
The FRU Predicts: Oh this really is a close one. If there were no changes in the front row, I’d have gone for Ulster A but I think Jersey might just find enough to claim the top spot for that all-important home quarter-final.
|Jersey Reds||Ulster A|
|Jack Cuthbert||15||Jack Owens|
|George Watkins||14||David Busby|
|Jordan Davies||13||Rory Butler|
|Kuki Ma’afu||12||Mark Best|
|Ross Adair||11||Jacob Stockdale|
|Callum Sheedy||10||Johnny McPhillips|
|Kieran Hardy||9||Jonny Stewart|
|Sean McCarthy||1||Eric O’Sullivan|
|Jack Macfarlane||2||Jonny Murphy|
|Simon Kerrod||3||Peter Cooper|
|Uili Kolo’ofa’i||4||Alan O’Connor|
|Pierce Phillips (capt)||5||John Donnan|
|James Freeman||6||Stephen Mulholland|
|James Doyle||7||Conor Joyce|
|Nick Haining||8||Lorcan Dow|
|Joe Buckle||16||Zack McCall|
|Jake Woolmore||17||Chris Cundell|
|Jake Armstrong||18||Matthew Rea|
|Dave McKern||19||Nick Timoney|
|Max Argyle||20||Johnny Creighton|
|Joel Dudley||21||Andrew Magrath|
|Sam Katz||22||Callum Patterson|