Planet Rugby

Last-minute Ulster edge cliffhanger

18th February 2011 21:03

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Ruan Pienaar ulster late kick

Killer kick: Ruan Pienaar

A Ruan Pienaar penalty in the dying moments of a closely-fought encounter saw Ulster edge Scarlets 18-16 in the Magners League on Friday.

South African scrum-half Pienaar snatched victory for Ulster with the last kick of the match to stun the Scarlets at a rain-drenched Parc y Scarlets.7

The hosts went into injury time thinking they had the match in the bag, but they were penalised from a scrum and Pienaar - who ended the match with all 18 points from six penalties - watched as his sixth kick just crept over the bar.

It sent Ulster into raptures and left Scarlets shellshocked, having to settle for a losing bonus point which took them up to third in the table.

They had led the match since a 22nd-minute penalty try and were indebted to 11 points from the boot of Rhys Priestland.

Ulster opened up a 6-0 lead with two penalty goals for scrum-half Pienaar, who also created his side's best chance of a try with a 30-metre dash from a line-out.

Those kicks were cancelled out with penalties for Priestland on 12 and 15 minutes.

From then on the Scarlets took the game to Ulster up front, wing Gareth Maule taking full-back Adam D'Arcy over his own line before three five-metre scrums earned the home side a penalty try.

After a third penalty for Pienaar the Scarlets restored their seven-point lead with a sweetly-struck drop-goal from Priestland.

Ulster had the upper hand and got to within a point of the Scarlets with Pienaar penalties on 48 and 60 minutes.

The Scarlets must have thought they had done enough to seal the points, until number eight Ben Morgan slipped his binding illegally at a scrum to allow Pienaar to win it.

The scorers:

For Scarlets:
Try: penalty,
Con: Priestland
Pen: Priestland 2
Drop: Priestland

For Ulster:
Pens: Pienaar 6

Scarlets: 15 Daniel Evans, 14 Gareth Maule, 13 Regan King, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Martin Roberts, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Josh Turnbull, 6 Rob McCusker, 5 Lou Reed, 4 Vernon Cooper, 3 Rhys Thomas, 2 Emyr Phillips, 1 Iestyn Thomas (c).
Replacements: 16 Rhys Lawrence, 17 Rhodri Jones, 18 Simon Gardiner, 19 Jonny Fa'amatuainu, 20 Johnathan Edwards, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Dan Newton, 23 Joe Ajuwa.

Ulster: 15 Adam D'Arcy, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Nevin Spence, 12 Paddy Wallace, 11 Craig Gilroy, 10 Patrick Jackson, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Pedrie Wannenburg, 7 Chris Henry, 6 TJ Anderson, 5 Tim Barker, 4 Johann Muller, 3 Declan Fitzpatrick, 2 Andi Kyriacou, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Nigel Brady, 17 Jerry Cronin, 18 Bryan Young, 19 Ryan Caldwell, 20 Robbie Diack, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Luke Marshall, 23 Simon Danielli.

Venue: Parc y Scarlets
Referee: Andy Macpherson

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