Scarlets see off sloppy Ulster

Date published: September 12 2015

Scarlets made it two wins from two in the opening rounds of the PRO12 season as they battled past Ulster 22-12 at Parc y Scarlets on Saturday.

After claiming the scalp of last term's champions Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun in Round One, the Welsh region backed that up against the Ravenhill outfit.

It was the boot of Dan Jones that separated the sides at the break as the fly-half kicked three penalties in the first-half to take them into a 9-0 lead. 

The Welsh region moved further ahead in the second period through a converted try from Hadleigh Parkes, but Rory Scholes' effort got the Irish province on the board. 

Another Jones three-pointer kept the visitors at arm's length and, although a penalty try gave the away team hope, Aled Thomas sealed the win with a penalty. 

It was the hosts who controlled proceedings in the opening period. They were on the front foot from the kick-off, going 3-0 ahead via the boot of Jones. 

Two more penalties from the fly-half made it 9-0 before the visitors forced their way back into the contest. That pressure resulted in a yellow card for Peter Edwards but, despite looking for a score, they couldn't find their way over the line before the break. 

Instead, it was Wayne Pivac's men who extended their advantage when Parkes touched down and Jones converted for a 16-point buffer. 

However, the home team's ill-discipline always kept Neil Doak's side in contention and John Barclay's sin-binning was capitalised on by the Irish province. 

Wing Scholes duly crossed in the corner to reduce the arrears to 16-5 with over a quarter of the match remaining. 

Despite that score seemingly revitalising Ulster, Jones' fourth three-pointer gave the Scarlets a comfortable buffer.

A penalty try did move the visitors into losing bonus-point territory but Thomas' late effort off the tee secured the win.

The scorers:

For Scarlets:
Try: Parkes
Con: Jones
Pen: Jones 4, Thomas

For Ulster:
Tries: Scholes, Penalty
Con: McCloskey

Scarlets: 15 Steffan Evans, 14 Hadleigh Parkes, 13 Regan King, 12 Gareth Owen, 11 Michael Tagicakibau, 10 Daniel Jones, 9 Aled Davies, 8 John Barclay (c), 7 James Davies, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Lewis Rawlins, 4 Tom Price, 3 Peter Edwards, 2 Emyr Phillips, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Rob Evans, 18 Will Taylor, 19 George Earle, 20 Rory Pitman, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Aled Thomas, 23 Tom Williams.

Ulster: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Craig Gilroy, 13 Luke Marshall, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 Rory Scholes, 10 Peter Nelson, 9 Paul Marshall, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Willie Faloon, 6 Roger Wilson, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Peter Browne, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Rob Herring (c), 1 Andrew Warwick.
Replacements: 16 John Andrew, 17 Callum Black, 18 Ricky Lutton, 19 Robbie Diack, 20 Clive Ross, 21 David Shanahan, 22 Sam Arnold, 23 David Busby.

Referee: Andy Brace (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Neil Hennessy (Wales), Justin Williams (Wales)
Television match official: Jon Mason (Wales)