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Last Updated: Friday, 15 April, 2005, 19:57 GMT 20:57 UK
Ulster 16-3 Scarlets
Andy Ward will retire at the end of this season
Ulster (9) 16
Try: Steinmetz
Con: Steinmetz
Pens: Steinmetz (3)
Scarlets (3) 3
Pen: Bowen
Att: 7,948
Ulster guaranteed themselves a place in the Celtic Cup by claiming a comfortable win over a disappointing Scarlets outfit at Ravenhill.

Paul Steinmetz scored all Ulster's points, while the Scarlets' solitary reply was a first-half penalty from fly-half Gareth Bowen.

Three Steinmetz penalties helped Ulster lead 9-3 at the interval.

The Scarlets failed to make use of the wind after the break and Steinmetz's 67th-minute try made the game safe.

It was skipper Andy Ward's final league game and as usual the New Zealand-born veteran led from the front.

His fellow countryman Steinmetz put Ulster in front with a penalty after two minutes, as the visitors were punished for not rolling away at the ruck.

The Scarlets were on level terms five minutes later when Ulster were caught offside in midfield and out-half Bowen slotted over the resulting penalty.

Centre Steve Thomas was denied a try for the Scarlets after he went under the posts but was called back for a forward pass.

Kevin Maggs tries to gain ground for Ulster
Ulster's Kevin Maggs attempts a burst

An Ulster attack saw them regain the lead with Steinmetz's second penalty of the game, after a good drive from the forwards had been illegally halted.

The Scarlets then gifted Ulster three more points when full-back Barry Davies knocked on from a harmless Bryn Cunningham clearance out of defence.

Scarlets skipper Simon Easterby stupidly threw the ball at the face of Ulster's Roger Wilson and Steinmetz slotted the resultant penalty, which gave Ulster a 9-3 half-time lead.

Llanelli's cause was not helped when prop John Davies was sin-binned six minutes after the restart for a late tackle off the ball.

Aled Thomas hit the upright with a penalty after a good break out of defence by Garan Evans, and he then failed with an easier opportunity two minutes later.

Steinmetz scored the game's only try with 13 minutes with his strength enabling him to break through a last-ditch tackle after his pace had taken him clear.

He added the conversion from a tight angle and the Ulster kicker could have added two further penalties as Llanelli lost their discipline.

Ulster: B Cunningham, T Bowe, K Maggs, P Steinmetz, S Young, P Wallace, K Campbell, S Best, P Shields, R Moore, G Longwell, M McCullough, A Ward, G Pfister, R Wilson. Replacements: N Doak, A Larkin, A Maxwell, R Best, R McCormack, R Frost, C Feather.

Scarlets: B Davies; G Evans, T Selley, S Thomas, L Byrne; G Bowen, M Phillips; P John, M Rees, J Davies, V Cooper, A Jones, S Easterby (cap) A Powell, J Mills.
Replacements: R Davies, A Gravelle, C Wyatt, I Boobyer, D Peel, A Thomas, I Evans.

Referee: Andrew Ireland (SRU).



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