Ulster hammer Scarlets
PRO14 REPORT: Dan McFarland’s Ulster made it five wins from seven in Conference A with a bonus-point 29-5 hammering of Scarlets at Kingspan Stadium.
The Belfast-based side had their four tries within half an hour thanks to scores from Matt Faddes, John Cooney, Matty Rea and Rob Baloucoune, and managed to restrict their visitors to one try after the interval.
Ulster came into this one charged up off the back of two impressive European wins and wasted no time in inflicting the first blow on their Welsh opponents with Faddes crossing after five minutes.
First Baloucoune skipped away down the right before Stuart McCloskey chipped the ball through for Faddes to touch down.
Minutes later it was the turn of Cooney, a man who can’t stop scoring at the moment, who delivered a muscular finish to dive over in the corner and somehow keep his feet infield.
Next the forwards stepped up, with blindside flank Rea driving over at the back of a maul inside 20 minutes – Baloucoune wrapping up the bonus point on 28 minutes.
The hosts continued to pound the Scarlets line before the break but couldn’t get over, then after oranges momentum switched the other way, you suspect with Brad Mooar laying down the law at the interval.
Fly-half Ryan Lamb came on to eye up a few gaps and Scarlets dominated territory for the third quarter, but McFarland has instilled a fighting attitude into his troops and the hosts defended as well as they’d attacked in the first 40.
It took Scarlets 74 minutes to get on the board with replacement Jac Morgan delivering a lovely finish in the corner – one final riposte coming from Ulster as Faddes completed his double a minute from time.
Tries: Faddes 2, Cooney, Rea, Baloucoune
Cons: Cooney 2
Ulster: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Robert Baloucoune, 13 Matt Faddes, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 Craig Gilroy, 10 Bill Johnston, 9 John Cooney, 8 Marcell Coetzee, 7 Sean Reidy, 6 Matthew Rea, 5 Kieran Treadwell, 4 Alan O’Connor, 3 Marty Moore, 2 Rob Herring (captain), 1 Eric O’Sullivan.
Replacements: 16 Adam McBurney, 17 Andrew Warwick, 18 Tom O’Toole, 19 David O’Connor, 20 Nick Timoney, 21 David Shanahan, 22 Angus Curtis, 23 Angus Kernohan.
Scarlets: 15 Steff Evans, 14 Corey Baldwin, 13 Steff Hughes (captain), 12 Paul Asquith, 11 Morgan Williams, 10 Dan Jones, 9 Kieran Hardy, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Josh Macleod, 6 Uzair Cassiem, 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Lewis Rawlins, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Dylan Evans, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 Steve Cummins, 20 Jac Morgan, 21 Jonathan Evans, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Ryan Conbeer.
Referee: Sam Grove-White (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Robert O’Sullivan (Ireland), Ben Blain (Scotland)
TMO: Charles Samson (Scotland)