Full time score: Ulster 24 – 17 Scarlets
Ian Humphreys (4 penalties) 22min, 43min, 46min, 59min
Ian Humphreys (1 conversion) 65min
Stephen Ferris (2 tries) 34min, 64min
Sean Lamont (1 try) 2min
Iongi (1 try) 19min
Kieran Murphy (1 try) 75min
Stephen Jones (1 conversion) 76min
Stephen Ferris turned in a man of the match performance as Ulster upset the recent form book with a 24-17 win over the Scarlets at Ravenhill.
Brian McLaughlin’s men came from ten nil down to claim the points a late try from the very Irish sounding Kieran Murphy
After a run of just one win in their last six games, Ulster needed to get their season back on track however home fans must have feared the worst when Sean Lamont crossed over the white line with just two minutes gone in the game.
That try came after Ulster had made a bright start, their willingness to run the ball from their own 22 proving their downfall as Pedrie Wannenbur’s poor pass was intercepted allowing Glasgow bound Lamont an easy finish.
Stephen Jones, earning his 301st cap and sporting a rather grizzly look, missed the kick to let Ulster slightly off.
The concession of an early score didn’t hamper Ulster’s attacking instincts and they continued to knock the ball around in the middle, handling errors more than a lack of confidence preventing them from turning possession into scores.
They had a chance to reduce the arrears after 10 minutes but Ian Humphreys missed with his kick, the wind making life difficult for the number 10.
Despite going close on a number of occasions Ulster couldn’t find the breakthrough and instead went 10-0 down after 20 minutes when Viliame Iongi shrugged off challenges from Darren Cave and Craig Gilroy to cross for the Scarlets second try.
Once again Jones was off target with his conversion.
Ulster finally got off the mark on 22 minutes when Humphreys kick a penalty to make it a seven point game and they almost reduced the arrears further when the impressive Darren Cave collected an Andrew Trimble pass near the Scarlets line however Alain Rolland spotted a forward pass and called it back.
The game turned Ulster’s way on 31 minutes when Daniel Evans was sent to the bin for deliberate obstruction and the Scarlets were made pay for the indiscretion as the ever improving Paul Marshall broke from his own half, collected his chipped pass the ball eventually coming to Ferris who crossed over for a try.
Humphreys was off target with the conversion to take Ulster to within two points of their visitors at the half time whistle.
Ulster came out full of intent in the second half and within 15 minutes had turned a 2 point deficit in a 7 point lead.
Then the highlight of the match as Ferris dummied a pass and then barged his way through the Scarlet back line to score his second try of the evening.
Humphreys adding the extra’s this time to make it 24-10 with just over 15 minutes to go.
Ulster coach McLaughlin made a host of changes with one of those, Adam Macklin seeing yellow less than a minute after coming on, the Scarlets taking advantage to secure the bonus point, Murphy going over under the posts.
Jones had no trouble with the conversion this time as the Scarlets set up a nervy finish however Ulster held on.