Scarlets strike back to see off Ulster

Scarlets strike back to see off Ulster
Tom Prydie of Scarlets scores a try despite David Shanahan and Michael Lowry. Pic: INPHO/Alex Davidson

Scarlets registered a 29-12 bonus-point Guinness Pro14 victory over Ulster to extend their winning run at Parc y Scarlets to 25 games.

The depleted home side were forced to come from behind early on to score four unanswered tries with prop Werner Kruger, scrum-half Kieran Hardy, centre Kieron Fonotia and wing Tom Prydie all crossing.

Dan Jones supplied nine points with the boot in the win that took Scarlets above Ulster into second place in Conference B.

Ulster's tries came through scrum-half Dave Shanahan and his replacement Jonny Stewart with Billy Burns adding the extras.

Wales prop Samson Lee (hamstring) and Blade Thomson (concussion) were absent for Scarlets but Prydie was declared fit again to start in a side captained by Will Boyde.

Hardy and hooker Marc Jones made their first starts for the hosts, while Ulster back Louis Ludik made his first start of the season after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Scarlets came from behind to score three unanswered tries as they lead 22-7 at the break.

It took 15 minutes to break the deadlock but a delayed pass by Ludik freed wing Henry Speight out wide and he fed Shanahan on the inside, leaving the scrum-half a free run to the line.

Burns converted to make it 7-0 after 15 minutes.

Scarlets responded four minutes later with a 40-metre penalty for Jones after Ulster had been caught failing to roll away from a ruck, and that sparked the home side into life as they scored three tries in the space of 14 minutes.

First prop Kruger showed his strength to burrow over after Ed Kennedy had burst from a maul as Jones converted to give Scarlets the lead.

Kruger was followed over the line by Hardy, who dummied a pass to dive over after the Scarlets forwards had gone through the phases to get the Welsh side close to the line. Jones converted again as Scarlets led 17-7.

The hosts thought they had a third try through centre Paul Asquith but it was ruled out because of obstruction from Fonotia.

But it mattered little as Fonotia made up for his error to score a try in the final minute after a break by Uzair Cassiem, although Jones was wayward with the conversion attempt.

Pic: Chris Fairweather/Sportsfile
Pic: Chris Fairweather/Sportsfile

Scarlets thought they had the bonus-point try early in the second half but - despite Kruger crashing over - the score was ruled out by referee Quinton Immelman.

The home side continued to dominate possession and territory but frustratingly they struggled to convert that pressure.

The bonus-point try eventually came when they abandoned continued forward forays towards the line in favour of spreading it and it worked as Prydie squeezed over in the right corner and Jones converted to make it 29-7 after 61 minutes.

Ulster halted Scarlets' run of points to grab a second try four minutes later when replacement scrum-half Stewart dived over.

PA

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Wesley O’ Regan is the General Manager of Popscene in Voodoo Rooms, Cork city. Popscene opened last November and is Cork’s only themed bar that is dedicated to celebrating the best of the 80s and 90s. https://www.facebook.com/PopsceneCork/You've Been Served: Wesley O'Regan, Popscene

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