Ulster Score A Superb Late Try To Down Scarlets

Jean Deysel in action for Ulster against Wasps

A fantastic aerial take from Stockdale on halfway then cemented Ulster's foothold in the match, and while the Scarlets mauled hard to withstand the first sustained drive towards their line, an infringement at the second push gave Cooney a 22-metre penalty to make it 6-3.

Both a standing ovation and a minute's silence was observed for the former Ulster centre, who passed away five years ago today in an accident on the family farm, along with father Noel and brother Graham.

Cooney kicked another penalty in the 52nd minute to put Ulster further in front, although it was the Scarlets who hit back next with Halfpenny landing a close-range penalty after Stuart McCloskey had strayed offside.

Ulster in contrast are without a handful of front-line players, primarily because of the national player management programme and injury denying them the services of Rory Best, Iain Henderson, Marcell Coetzee, Charles Piutau and Craig Gilroy to highlight five.

But Ulster grew into the game, albeit with plenty of handling errors to boot, and it was their inability to hold onto the ball that prevented them from putting any kind of momentum together.

He then nudged them ahead in the 31st minute after Ulster had laid siege to the Scarlets' line, almost getting over from a maul.

Ulster - L Ludik (Bowe 52); A Trimble, L Marshall, S McCloskey (Bowe 18-26), J Stockdale (Nelson 73); C Lealiifano, J Cooney (Marshall 70); K McCall, R Herring (Andrew 58), W Herbst (Ah You 72), K Treadwell (Diack 58), A O'Connor, C Henry (capt)(Ross 66), M Rea, S Reidy. A late tackle on Lealiifano won them yet more possession in Scarlets territory, from where Cooney added his fourth penalty of the game on 51 minutes.

With seemingly nothing on going the other way, McCloskey turned game victor, riding a challenge and offloading to Tommy Bowe, with the winger sending Paul Marshall on his way only for the rapid scrum-half to be caught. And with a huge gap out to the right, Luke Marshall checked before floating a lovely long pass to Andrew who crossed unopposed with two men outside him, for a superb try.

It may only be game three, but that's some statement.

Scrum half John Cooney continued his impressive start in Ulster colours with 12 points from the tee, topped up by second half tries from Jacob Stockdale and John Andrew, and an equally important penalty and conversion from Christian Lealiifano.

Replacements not used: Andrew Warwick.



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