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Scarlets 12-19 Ulster (FT)
16.09 – “Struck it well,” says RTE commentator Hugh Cahill, as Paddy Jackson’s first penalty of the game goes narrowly wide.
A case of commentator’s curse in that instance, clearly.
16.13 – Ulster 3-0 Scarlets: This time, Jackson makes no mistake with a kick straight in front of the posts, but from a good distance out (10 mins).
You get the feeling that this game could be won or lost in the respective performances of the two sides’ fly-halfs.
16.24 – Scarlets 3-3 Ulster: Wonderfully executed kick from the touchline by Aled Thomas to bring the sides level (18 mins).
That’s immediately followed by a sloppy knock-on from Roger Wilson.
16.29 – Ulster have just made two basic errors, the latest being a knock-on from Paddy Jackson, giving the Welsh side possession deep inside the opposition territory.
However, a strong Ulster scrum later, and the Irish side clear their lines and relieve that brief spell of pressure.
16.35 – Ulster 10-3 Scarlets: Shocking play from Gareth Owen, as Scarlets are punished for trying to play rugby when it wasn’t on.
Owen’s attempt at a pass is intercepted by an alert Andrew Trimple, and the Irish international shows his pace to accelerate away from the chasing defenders and run in under the posts (28 mins).
Jackson then makes no mistake with a simple conversion.
16.52 – Ulster deservedly lead 13-3 at half-time, with their ability to adapt better to the conditions being integral to their success.
They may even rue not being further ahead, as they’ve had the better opportunities in that half.
Scarlets, meanwhile, are trying to play too much rugby in difficult conditions, and are being punished for their obvious inferiority in the scrum.
17.13 – Scarlets 9-16 Ulster: Aled Thomas further narrows the lead with a penalty from a difficult angle (52 mins).
There has been a palpable drop in the intensity of Ulster’s play in the second half, though Scarlets have also upped their game considerably, to be fair.
17.27 – Yellow card for Dan Tuohy for not rolling away. The referee has clearly got frustrated with Ulster repeating this offence on numerous occasions.
The subsequent kick from Aled Thomas goes woefully wide.
17.38 – Dan Tuohy is back on for Ulster, who look like they’re going to see this game out comfortably.
It’s been another accomplished performance from the Irish side, who have performed well under difficult conditions.
17.44 – Scarlets 12-19 Ulster: Thomas has a chance to give his side a losing bonus point with a last-gasp penalty and he takes full advantage (80 mins).
17.52 – So that’s 10 wins from 10 now, as far as Ulster’s league form is concerned.
Mark Anscombe’s team performed extremely well, given that they were playing away from home in difficult conditions against a good Scarlets side, not to mention the fact that they had numerous first-team players missing.
The visitors didn’t overly extend themselves in the second half, presumably with one eye on Friday’s Heineken Cup game, but they deserved the victory nonetheless.