Planet Rugby

Scarlets thrash Ulster

16th May 2009 23:11

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David Lyons

David Lyons led his side to a thumping win over Ulster

The Scarlets leapfrogged Ulster to move up to fifth place in the Magners League following a convincing bonus-point 43-17 victory at Parc y Scarlets on Saturday.

Having already qualified for next season's Heineken Cup with their midweek win over Cardiff Blues, a relaxed home side, playing their final match of the season without Lions duo Stephen Jones and Matthew Rees, scored six tries.

A bright start by the Scarlets was rewarded with three first-half tries - the first coming after one minute 20 seconds, scored by full-back Dan Evans, who collected his own kick ahead.

And when Ulster centre Ian Whitten failed to roll away at a ruck, Scarlets moved into a 10-0 lead after 15 minutes with a Rhys Priestland penalty.

But that was cancelled out three minutes later by a well-struck drop goal from Ulster number 10 Niall O'Connor.

That was of small consolation to Ulster, however, as they conceded two tries in the space of four minutes as the home side opened up a 22-3 lead.

First a charging run from Dominic Day resulted in him squeezing over the line and then Lee Williams, who had scored two tries in the win over the Blues in midweek, was sent over by Martin Roberts.

A disappointing half for the Northern Irishmen improved somewhat when scrum-half Paul Marshall jinked his way over from a ruck 10 metres out for a converted try, which reduced the deficit to 12 points.

And Ulster were further helped by Priestland missing a long-range penalty attempt just before half-time after the visitors had strayed offside, but the Scarlets still led 22-10.

Right at the start of the second half, O'Connor missed a drop-goal attempt.

But, like the first half, the Scarlets scored a try within the first two minutes when a break by prop Iestyn Thomas was finished off by Darren Daniel to give his side the bonus point.

The Ulster cause was not helped when they lost number eight Robbie Diack to the sin-bin after 58 minutes for a professional foul.

And, with the extra man, the Scarlets celebrated a fifth try scored by scrum-half Roberts after some good work by Daniel and Nick Reynolds.

In injury-time, the Scarlets put the icing on the cake with a try for captain David Lyons, who scrambled over the line from close range.

Just before the end, Ulster centre Darren Cave went in for Ulster's second try but it was too little, too late.

The scorers:

For the Scarlets:

Tries: D Evans, Day, L Williams, Daniel, Roberts, Lyons

Con: Priestland 5

Pen: Priestland

For Ulster:

Tries: Marshall, Cave

Cons: O'Connor, Humphreys

Drop: O'Connor

The teams:

Scarlets: 15 Daniel Evans, 14 Darren Daniel, 13 Nick Reynolds, 12 Rob Higgitt, 11 Lee Williams, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Martin Roberts, 8 David Lyons (c), 7 Johnathan Edwards, 6 Rob McCusker, 5 Dominic Day, 4 Lou Reed, 3 Kees Meeuws, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Iestyn Thomas.

Replacements: 16 Phil John, 17 Emyr Phillips, 18 Aaron Shingler, 19 Simon Easterby, 20 Josh Turnbull, 21 Gavin Cattle, 22 Ceiron Thomas.

Ulster: 15 Isaac Boss, 14 Timoci Nagusa, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Ian Whitten, 11 Simon Danielli, 10 Niall O'Connor, 9 Cillian Willis, 8 Robbie Diack, 7 Chris Henry, 6 Matt McCullough, 5 Ryan Caldwell, 4 Ed O'Donoghue, 3 Declan Fitzpatrick, 2 Nigel Brady (c), 1 Bryan Young.

Replacements: 16 Neil Hanna, 17 Justin Fitzpatrick, 18 Carlo Del Fava, 19 Willie Faloon, 20 Ian Humphreys, 21 Mark McCrea, 22 Clinton Schifcofske.

Referee: Neil Paterson (SRU)

Assistant Referees: Jon Mason (WRU), Ken Bowen (WRU)

TMO: Huw Lewis (WRU)

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