Tuesday 12 December 2017

Ulster's last-eight ambitions blown off course by Scarlets

Ulster 'A' 7 Scarlets Select 23

Dan Jones, Scarlets. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Dan Jones, Scarlets. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The hopes of Ulster 'A' reaching the last eight of the British & Irish Cup took another knock when they unexpectedly lost to the Scarlets at Eaton Park, Ballymena.

The strong wind created less-than-ideal conditions for open rugby, but Ulster were favourites having won in Wales.

The Scarlets now have four points while Ulster have nine, Bristol ten, and Bedford 14. With two games remaining it would take a brilliant Ulster to overcome both.

A collapsed scrum close to the visitor's line gave Ulster a penalty try which Sam Windsor goaled, but the 7-0 interval margin should have been greater.

Mark Best was brought down just short and when Shaun Evans was yellow-carded Ulster elected for a scrum but were unable to breech the visiting defence. They also failed to make full use of the wind which Scarlets did when their time came.

Eight minutes into the second half, Ulster lost possession and Welsh winger Gavin Thomas ran from his own '22' to touch down. Dan Jones converted.

Under pressure, the hosts conceded penalties and Jones was successful with a second after an hour's play when Robert Lyttle was yellow-carded. Jones later added a third before he goaled a late try from Dion Jones.

Ulster 'A' - R Lyttle; C Young, C Patterson, M Best, A Liddell; S Windsor, P Rowley; C Black, J Andrew, J Simpson, J Donnan, P Browne, C Joyce, W Faloon (c), S Mulholland. Replacements: J Murphy, R Murphy, R Kane, N Timoney, L Dow, J Pentland, A Magrath.

Scarlets Premiership Select - D Jones; G Thomas. S Hughes, J Lewis, M Tagicakibau; D Jones, K Hardy; D Evans, R Elias, B Leung, B Thompson, J Jones, S Worrell, S Evans, T Lloyd. Replacements: W Taylor, K Myhill, L Taylor, O Morgan, C Lloyd, J Cowley, J Williams.

Ref - C Ridley (RFU).

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