Shanahan's early work undone as Ulster slip behind Scarlets
Scarlets 29 Ulster 12
Ulster were comfortably beaten by the Scarlets in Llanelli and in the process slipped behind the Welsh region in Conference B.
Tries from Werner Kruger, Kieran Hardy, Kieron Fonotia and Tom Prydie, plus nine points from the boot of Dan Jones, were enough to give Wayne Pivac's side the win.
All Ulster could manage were two tries courtesy of David Shanahan and Jonny Stewart with Billy Burns kicking a conversion.
However, Ulster did strike first when Louis Ludik released sent Henry Speight down his wing with a gorgeous offload. The Australian international drew the last defender before putting Shanahan over for a try. Burns' conversion was followed by a Jones penalty.
Ulster found themselves behind for the first time in the match when tighthead prop Kruger smashed his way over from short range. Scarlets' physical dominance paid off with two tries in the final 10 minutes of the first half from Hardy and Fonotia for a 22-7 lead at the interval.
Stewart gave Ulster hope when he crossed the line after a powerful driving lineout but it was too little, too late.
Scarlets - McNicholl (Blommetjies 64); Prydie, Fonotia, Asquith, Nicholas (Williams 71); D Jones, Hardy (Hidalgo-Clyne 63-68, 70); Price (Evans 63), M Jones (Hughes 41), Kruger (Gardiner 70@), Cummins, Bulbring (Rawlins 63), Kennedy (Davis 27), Boyde, Cassiem.
Ulster - Lowry; Baloucoune, Ludik (Cave 57), Hume, Speight; Burns (Kernohan 63), Shanahan (Stewart 63); O'Sullivan (Warwick 50), McBurney (Andrew 63), Moore (O'Toole 55), O'Connor, Treadwell (Nagle 50), Coetzee, Reidy, Timoney (Jones 63).
Ref - Q Immelman