Scarlets 29 Ulster 12
Ulster was overtaken by Scarlets in Conference B of Guinness Pro 14 as she made a convincing defeat of 29-12 members in Llanelli.
Head coach Dan McFarland was without Irish internationals Rory Best, Iain Henderson, Jacob Stockdale, Will Addison and Rob Herring and after he took the lead, his team struggled.
The Ulster attackers were the second best against an impressive home pack in the first of what will be three meetings between these two teams in the course of the next month.
Scrumhalf Dave Shanahan and his substitute Jonny Stewart scored in both half, but Ulster was the second best during a Scarlet outfit without 12 major duty men in Wales.
Homeworking came from Werner Kruger, Kieran Hardy, Kieron Fonotia and Tom Prydie, which in the end was a comfortable home success.
After a bad opening of 10 minutes Ulster broke through the stalemate with a good attempt. A neat blindside move saw center Louis Ludik link with wing Henry Speight and the Australia international went back inside to give scrumhalf Shanahan an easy conversion.
The conversion of Billy Burns was followed by a penalty from Dan Jones and then the first attempt by the Scarlets.
Jones kicked to the corner and although Ed Kennedy slipped, the ball was recycled and Kruger ducked up close. Jones kicked the goal and Ulster was now in the opposite direction.
Only excellent tackle from Nick Timoney denied Scarlets again. Marc Jones's outrageous back door released Hardy, but the scrum half at home had come into contact.
Scarlets were crossed shortly thereafter, but the attempt by Paul Asquith was excluded by TMO Tim Hayes for obstruction in the construction by Fonotia.
Ulster lived a charmed life, but the dominance of Scarlets soon paid off and it was Hardy who came with a new close-score. There was still time for the excellent Fonotia to break before the break for a good try. A conversion by Jones sent Ulster to the break 22-7 down.
Scarlets had once again refused an attempt and James Hume, the center of Ulster, was lucky that he was not carded for a high tackle on Johnny McNicholl.
Scarlets held on to what worked for them and they completely dominated the territory. Finally, their bonus point attempt arrived as with the available space wide, Prydie benefited in the right corner.
Jones kicked the goal again and although Ulster got one back through substitute Stewart, they could not come back in because both teams emptied their bank.
By the time the last quarter arrived, the game had long been decided as a game, so the last 10 minutes were quiet.
It left Ulster with enough to think about the upcoming home game and the Champions Cup confrontations with the men from Llanelli.
SCARLETS: J McNicholl; T Prydie, K Fonotia, P Asquith, I Nicholas; D Jones, K Hardy; P Price, M Jones, W Kruger; S Cummins, D Bulbring; E Kennedy, W Boyde, U Cassiem
replacements: D Davies for Kennedy (27 minutes), D Hughes for Jones (41), D Evans for prize (62), S Hidalgo-Clyne for Hardy (63-68), L Rawlins for Bulbring (63), C Blommetjies for McNicholl 64 ), S Gardiner for Kruger (70), M Williams for Nicholas 71), S Hidalgo-Clyne for Hardy (74).
ULSTER: M Lowry; R Baloucounie, L Ludik, J Hume, H Speight; B Burns, D Shanahan; E O & # 39; Sullivan, A McBurney, M Moore; A O & # 39; Connor, K Treadwell; M Coetzee, S Reidy, N Timoney
replacements: A Warwick for O & # 39; Sullivan (50 minutes), I Nagle for Treadwell (50), T O & # 39; Toole for Moore (55), D Cave for Ludik (57), J Andrew for McBurney (63), J Stewart for Shanahan (63), G Jones for Timoney (63), A Kernohan for Speight (77)
Referee: Quinton Immelman (South Africa)