Jump to main content


Match Page - Scoreboard

Ulster ‘A’ Stay On Track Thanks To McBurney’s Four-Try Haul
Report Stats

Ulster ‘A’ Stay On Track Thanks To McBurney’s Four-Try Haul

Ulster ‘A’ Stay On Track Thanks To McBurney’s Four-Try Haul

Four tries from hooker Adam McBurney saw Ulster ‘A’ secure a 27-19 British & Irish Cup bonus point win over Hartpury at Ballymena RFC this afternoon.

It was the visitors who enjoyed some early possession and territory, but Ulster 'A', who won the sides' first meeting 29-24, got the opening score of the rematch. There were 13 minutes on the clock when hooker Adam McBurney crashed over from the back of a lineout maul.

Five minutes later, Hartpury edged themselves in front for what would be the only time in the game. A penalty brought them up to the province's five-metre line before a series of pick and drives saw number 8 Darrell Dyer force his way over the whitewash, with the conversion added by out-half Jacob Perry.

Kieran Campbell's home side responded within three minutes with another McBurney try, which was almost a carbon copy of the first. Johnny McPhillips added the extras to make it 12-7.

Hartpury leveled the game in the 27th minute courtesy of a lineout drive of their own, with centre Maliq Holden the beneficiary of the work by his pack. However, two minutes before the break, McBurney popped up at the back of another lineout maul for his hat-trick score and a 17-12 interval advantage.

The bonus point was secured on 47 minutes when Ballymena clubman McBurney got his and Ulster's fourth try of the game, with McPhillips converting for a double-scores lead. Assured out-half McPhillips fired over a penalty in the 57th minute to push the Ulstermen's advantage out to 27-12.

Hartpury continued to battle gamely and following an attacking scrum five metres out, the referee signaled for a penalty try on 70 minutes, which reduced the deficit to eight points. However, in the final 10 minutes, the Ulster 'A' rearguard was able to cope with any advancing attacks to seal an important victory.

Speaking after the game, Ulster 'A' head coach Campbell said: “We're delighted and I think it's very important with this group of guys – they are largely young guys and learning how to deal with pressure situations. The guys applied themselves very well and handled that pressure and they delivered what we asked them to deliver.

“It wasn't a pretty performance as all the tries came off the forwards, so big credit to (assistant and forwards coach) Willie Anderson and the forwards. We're very pleased going into Christmas and that gives us a nice position to kick-on from going into the New Year.”

Ulster 'A', who had a man-of-the-match performance from promising 19-year-old prop Tom O'Toole, started the day joint top of Pool 5 alongside Cornish Pirates and the Scarlets Premiership Select on nine points. Today's bonus point victory moves the Ulstermen to 14 points, with their other two rivals due to meet in Cornwall tomorrow.

Looking ahead to round 5 where Ulster 'A' host the Pirates at Shaw's Bridge in mid-January, Campbell added: “They are a big, physical side as we found out when we played over there (and lost 23-14), and they will test us.

“We've got ourselves into a very good position but we're going to have to deal with that by getting parity in the physicality we expect from the game. We need to take them on and have the quality to take the game away from them from what will be a huge challenge.”

Referee: Hamish Smales (England)

Lineups Scorers

Match Lineups

Home Team

Robert Lyttle; Angus Kernohan, Jack Owens, Brett Herron, David Busby; Johnny McPhillips, Jonny Stewart; Tommy O'Hagan, Adam McBurney, Tom O'Toole, Peter Browne, Matthew Dalton, Clive Ross, Aaron Hall, Greg Jones (capt).

Replacements: Zack McCall, Eric O'Sullivan, Caleb Montgomery, Matthew Agnew, Dave Shanahan, Stewart Moore, Aaron Cairns.

Away Team

Ed Coulson; Alex Ducker, Maliq Holden, Jamie Forrester, Elias Caven; Jacob Perry, Harry Cochrane; Mike Flook, Will Crane, Tom Heard, Joe Quinn (capt), Joe Dancer, Tom Everard, Max Clementson, Darrell Dyer.

Replacements: Joe Mullis, Alex Gibson, Mike Daniels, Ben So'oialo-Chan, Tom Pashley, Ewan Finley, Nick Carpenter.

Match Scorers

Home Team

Tries: Adam McBurney 4; Cons: Johnny McPhillips 2; Pen: Johnny McPhillips

Away Team

Tries: Darrell Dyer, Maliq Holden, Penalty try; Cons: Jacob Perry, Pen try con