Scarlets jump above Ulster after convincing win

Dan McFarland’s side struggled up front against Welsh side

Tom Prydie of Scarlets scores a try despite the attempts of David Shanahan and Michael Lowry of  Ulster during the Guinness Pro 14 game at  Parc y Scarlets. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Inpho

Tom Prydie of Scarlets scores a try despite the attempts of David Shanahan and Michael Lowry of Ulster during the Guinness Pro 14 game at Parc y Scarlets. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Inpho

 

Scarlets 29 Ulster 12

Ulster were overtaken by the Scarlets in Conference B of the Guinness Pro 14 as they suffered a convincing 29-12 defeat in Llanelli.

Head coach Dan McFarland was without Irish internationals Rory Best, Iain Henderson, Jacob Stockdale, Will Addison and Rob Herring and after taking the lead, his team struggled.

Ulster’s forwards were second best against an impressive home pack in the first of what will be three meetings between these two teams over the course of the next month.

Scrumhalf Dave Shanahan and his replacement Jonny Stewart scored in either half, but Ulster were second best throughout against a Scarlets outfit without 12 key men on duty with Wales.

Home tries came from Werner Kruger, Kieran Hardy, Kieron Fonotia and Tom Prydie in what was ultimately a comfortable home success.

After a poor opening 10 minutes, Ulster broke the deadlock with a fine try. A neat blindside move saw centre Louis Ludik link with wing Henry Speight and the Australia international passed back inside to give scrumhalf Shanahan an easy conversion.

Billy Burns’s conversion was followed by a penalty from Dan Jones and then the Scarlets’ first try.

Jones kicked to the corner and although Ed Kennedy slipped, the ball was recycled and Kruger dived over from close range. Jones kicked the goal and Ulster were now stuck in reverse.

Only a superb tackle from Nick Timoney denied Scarlets a second try. Marc Jones’s outrageous back-door pass released Hardy, but the home scrumhalf was scragged into touch.

Scarlets did cross soon after, but Paul Asquith’s effort was ruled out by TMO Tim Hayes for obstruction in the build-up by Fonotia.

Ulster were living a charmed life, but Scarlets’ forward dominance soon paid off and it was Hardy who came up with another close-range score. There was still time for the superb Fonotia to break clear before the break for a fine try. One conversion from Jones sent Ulster to the break 22-7 down.

Scarlets had another try disallowed and Ulster centre James Hume was lucky to not be carded for a high tackle on Johnny McNicholl.

Scarlets stuck to what was working for them and they totally dominated territory. Finally, their bonus-point try arrived as with space out wide, Prydie benefitted in the right corner.

Jones kicked the goal once again and although Ulster got one back through substitute Stewart, they couldn’t get back into it as both teams unloaded their bench.

By the time the final quarter arrived, the game had long since been decided as a contest so the final 10 minutes were quiet.

It left Ulster with plenty to think about ahead of upcoming home and away Champions Cup clashes with the men from Llanelli.

SCARLETS: J McNicholl; T Prydie, K Fonotia, P Asquith, I Nicholas; D Jones, K Hardy; P Price, M Jones, W Kruger; S Cummins, D Bulbring; E Kennedy, W Boyde, U Cassiem

Replacements: D Davies for Kennedy (27 mins), D Hughes for Jones (41), D Evans for Price (62), S Hidalgo-Clyne for Hardy (63-68), L Rawlins for Bulbring (63), C Blommetjies for McNicholl 64), S Gardiner for Kruger (70), M Williams for Nicholas 71), S Hidalgo-Clyne for Hardy (74).

ULSTER: M Lowry; R Baloucounie, L Ludik, J Hume, H Speight; B Burns, D Shanahan; E O’Sullivan, A McBurney, M Moore; A O’Connor, K Treadwell; M Coetzee, S Reidy, N Timoney

Replacements: A Warwick for O’Sullivan (50 mins), I Nagle for Treadwell (50), T O’Toole for Moore (55), D Cave for Ludik (57), J Andrew for McBurney (63), J Stewart for Shanahan (63), G Jones for Timoney (63), A Kernohan for Speight (77)

Referee: Quinton Immelman (South Africa)

Attendance: 7,788

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.