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Rainey OB prop Tommy O'Hagan was awarded the Man of the Match following Ulster A's 38-21 victory over London Scottish on Friday evening.

Hear what the 23-year-old prop thought of the performance, the experience of his first start at Kingspan Stadium, and his thoughts on the form of the Ulster A team as they look towards a place in the knockout stages of the British & Irish Cup.

Not long ago, an Ulster team which did not have a fair representation from North or Collegians would have been highly unlikely.  But, after several barren seasons, these famous old clubs decided to amalgamate, building an impressive new complex at Deramore, with Grafton Recruitment as sponsors.  As Belfast Harlequins, they were confidently expected to compete at the highest level of the AIL and for some time were relatively successful.  But, in recent seasons successive relegations have hit them hard and failure to attract top players has left them with a much inferior squad.  They now languish well adrift at the bottom of Division 2A.

 

They come to Hatrick Park on Saturday for a SONI Ulster Premiership League game, the outcome of which is not that important.  But both sides will be keen to find some form with the Ulster Bank League about to resume shortly.  Rainey looked a safe bet for promotion after a dream start to the campaign, but a major slump has seen their lead reduced to a single point.  A number of players have played very little rugby in recent weeks and could do with some game time, but whether they will be risked or not remains to be seen.

 

Rainey appeared to have a strong squad at the outset, but have had to make changes galore with confidence dipping as a result.  The absence of some of the more experienced players has left them short of on-the-park leaders.  Bangor provide the opposition at Upritchard Park on January 7.  Ulster "A" have a British and Irish Cup game in Jersey on January 21 when Rainey meet Bruff in a vitally important fixture.