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Page last updated at 21:23 GMT, Friday, 5 September 2008 22:23 UK

Ulster 9-16 Scarlets


Ulster take on the Scarlets at Ravenhill

Ulster (9) 9
Pens: Schifcofske 3

Scarlets (10) 16
Tries: Daniel
Cons: S Jones
Pens: S Jones 3

The Scarlets claimed a deserved victory in the Magners League opener at a wet and windy Ravenhill on Friday night.

Ulster had the wind advantage in the first half but a Darren Daniel try helped the Welshmen to a 10-0 lead.

The hosts fought back and three Clinton Schifcofske penalties left just a point between the sides at the break.

The Scarlets took control with the wind at their backs in the second half and Stephen Jones converted two penalties to seal the win for the visitors.


Ulster failed to make a helping wind count in the opening 40 minutes.

Early pressure from the Scarlets was rewarded with a Jones penalty on six minutes with Schifcofske dragging his opening attempt wide of the posts two minutes later.

The best passing move of the half ended with Daniel's converted try after 18 minutes, with the winger darting past Andrew Trimble before touching down in the corner.

Schifcofske registered his first score in the 21st minute before Ryan Caldwell replaced Carlo del Fava, who suffered a shoulder injury in the opening minutes.

Ulster new boy Schifcofske went on to reduce the half-time gap to just a point when he converted two out of four penalties as indiscipline crept into the Scarlets play.

The wind was in the Welshmen's favour on the restart and they increased their lead through a Jones penalty on 42 minutes.

Jones failed to convert another penalty but the visitors began to take a grip on affairs and the fly-half fired the ball between the posts in the 58th minute to make it 16-9.

Ulster needed to press forward but found themselves camped in their own 22.

The Irish team launched an attack in the dying seconds but a handling error ended any hope of getting anything more than a bonus point from the game.

Ulster coach Matt Williams:
"We just missed too many tackles - it's the same disease we had last year.

"It was a very soft try and we missed more than 20 tackles in the first half when you can't miss more than 10 in a game.

"We played in an extremely unorganised fashion in the first half."

Ulster: Schifcofske, Trimble, Cave, Dewey, Nagusa, Wallace, Boss, J. Fitzpatrick, Best, Botha, Del Fava, O'Donoghue, McCullough, Dawson, Diack.
Replacements: Court for Botha (66), Caldwell for Del Fava (23), Pollock for Dawson (66). Not Used: Brady, Willis, O'Connor, Cunningham.

Scarlets: Stoddart, Daniel, Higgitt, G. Evans, M. Jones, S. Jones, Martens, I. Thomas, Rees, Meeuws, Reed, Maling, Easterby, G. Thomas, Lyons.
Replacements: Roberts for Martens (70), Manu for Meeuws (66), Cooper for Maling (66), D. Jones for G. Thomas (66). Not Used: Owen, C. Thomas, Brew.

Att: 7,368

Referee: Peter Allan (SRU)

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see also
Magners Celtic League 2008/9
11 Aug 08 |  Rugby Union
Botha may get quick Magners debut
29 Aug 08 |  Ulster
Injury blow strikes Scarlet King
30 Aug 08 |  Scarlets
Wasps 17-20 Scarlets
29 Aug 08 |  London Wasps
Magners League table
09 Aug 06 |  Tables
Celtic rugby archive
07 Jul 03 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
23 Mar 08 |  Wales
BBC Sport NI coverage
03 Jul 08 |  Northern Ireland
BBC Scotland programme guide
26 Jul 09 |  Scotland

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