Rhys Priestland, Tavis Knoyle and Andy Fenby each scored a try to help Scarlets to a 25-8 win over Ulster at Parc y Scarlets on Friday.
Rhys Priestland, Tavis Knoyle and Andy Fenby each scored a try to help Scarlets to a much-needed 25-8 win over Ulster at Parc y Scarlets on Friday.
The west Wales region are now just two points behind the Cardiff Blues in ninth place, but are still in danger of not qualifying for the Heineken Cup as they are presently the lowest placed Welsh side in the league.
And they might rue not managing to score a bonus-point try tonight.
Ulster's cause was not helped by David Pollock and Ryan Caldwell being sent to the sin-bin in the second half, although the Scarlets dominated possession and territory and were 15-3 ahead at the interval.
The home side scored first with a try after just three minutes, made by a break by Nigerian-born wing Joe Ajuwa.
He went close down the right before the ball was spread left and fellow wing Andy Fenby went over unopposed.
In an entertaining first half the visitors did have their chances. Flanker Dan Tuohy had a try disallowed and then Ian Humphreys missed a drop-goal.
But it was the Scarlets, desperate to get up the Magners table, who scored a second try on 20 minutes when number eight David Lyons put scrum-half Tavis Knoyle on a 40-metre run to the line.
After that it was all Scarlets until Humphreys kicked a long-range penalty in first-half injury-time.
Ulster made their intentions known at the start of the second half, scoring a try in the first 86 seconds with Paddy Wallace crashing over after a break by Isaac Boss.
But just as the Scarlets feared a sustained Ulster comeback, Pollock was shown a yellow card for killing the ball in front of his posts, allowing Rhys Priestland to convert a penalty to give the home side a 18-8 lead.
Lions hooker Matthew Rees came on for the last half an hour to test the groin injury which has so far kept him out of Wales' Six Nations Championship campaign.
And he helped inspire his team to a try on the hour mark. It was finally scored by outside-half Priestland but that was after the forwards had softened up Ulster by going through eleven phases.
But after that the Scarlets were unable to create another chance and missed out on the bonus point.
Tries: Fenby, Knoyle, Priestland
Cons: Priestland 2
Pens: Priestland 2
Scarlets: 15 Dan Newton, 14 Joe Ajuwa, 13 Regan King, 12 Jonathan Davies 11 Andy Fenby, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 David Lyons (capt). 7 Richie Pugh, 6 Josh Turnbull, 5 Dominic Day, 4 Lou Reed, 3 Deacon Manu, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Iestyn Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Phil John, 17 Matthew Rees, 18 Rob McCusker, 19 Johnathan Edwards, 20 Martin Roberts, 21 Daniel Evans, 22 Gareth Maule
Ulster: 15 Jamie Smith, 14 Timoci Nagusa, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Paddy Wallace, 11 Andrew Trimble, 10 Ian Humphreys, 9 Isaac Boss, 8 Chris Henry (c), 7 David Pollock, 6 Dan Tuohy, 5 Ryan Caldwell, 4 Ed O'Donoghue, 3 Brendan Botha, 2 Nigel Brady, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Andi Kyriacou, 17 Bryan Young, 18 Robbie Diack, 19 Willie Faloon, 20 Paul Marshall, 21 Niall O'Connor, 22 Simon Danielli.
Referee: Peter Allan