Paul Marshall says Ulster must keep composure

Roger Wilson will make his 200th appearance for Ulster when the Guinness Pro12 table-toppers welcome Scarlets to Kingspan Stadium tomorrow afternoon.

Paul Marshall says Ulster must keep composure

Wilson, who lifted European Cup honours while making over 100 appearances for Northampton Saints during his four-year spell in the midlands, is one of a number of changes to the side that defeated Glasgow last week.

With Ruan Pienaar on the bench, the lively Paul Marshall starts as pivot with Paddy Jackson wearing the number 10 jersey and also leading the side in place of injured Rob Herring and the otherwise engaged Rory Best.

John Andrew makes his first start at hooker while Luke Marshall returns from Ireland duty alongside Darren Cave in midfield. International Chris Henry comes in for his first start since December.

Scrum-half Marshall, meanwhile, says Ulster must take their chances if they are to stay top of the Pro12 given the closeness of the chasing pack.

“Take the game against Glasgow - had we taken the opportunities to score tries we could have come away with a bonus point win,” said Marshall.

“That is why we were a bit frustrated, but credit Glasgow they scrambled unbelievably hard in defence and will be delighted to have curtailed a few of our chances.”“I don’t think we are panicking, I think it is just more a case of keeping composure and finishing off opportunities. With one point separating first and fourth, bonus points further down the line could make a big difference and we felt that we have maybe played better than our results have shown in the last couple of weeks.” He admitted: “The guys that have come in (to replace those on Ireland duty) over the past few weeks have done very well. They are putting pressure on the so called regular players to make sure they can get their places back and that is healthy for a squad. But whoever is at the top of the table everybody wants to knock them off. That has been our goal when we’re not up there. We’re now going to be targeted by everybody.”

The Scarlets have been the only side to deny Ulster a point this season and are looking to claim the double over Ulster for seven seasons. “They started the season flying winning eight or nine games on the bounce. We have had a couple of wins in a row and we know it will be a tough game but we can take confidence from grinding out results in the last number of weeks. I think the Scarlets have improved this year, early on in the season they went to Glasgow and won which is a tough thing to do so their away from has been good.”

ULSTER:

S Olding, C Gilroy, D Cave, L Marshall, J Stockdale, P Jackson (capt), P Marshall; A Warwick, J Andrew, R Lutton, A O’Connor, F van der Merwe, R Diack, C Henry, R Wilson.

Replacements:

J Murphy, K McCall, B Ross, P Browne, C Ross, R Pienaar, I Humphreys, S Arnold.

SCARLETS:

M Collins, G Owen, R King, H Parkes (capt), DTH van der Merwe, A Thomas, A Davies, P John, K Myhill, P Edwards, G Earle, D Bulbring, A Shingler, W Boyde, M Allen.

Replacements:

R Elias, D Evans, R Jones, M Paulino, R Pitman, R Williams, D Jones, S Evans.

Referee:

Ian Davies (WRU)

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