Scarlets have 10 points to spare in defeating Ulster
Rugby PRO12: Scarlets 22-12 Ulster
DESPITE having three players sin-binned for the second week in-a-row, Scarlets had 10 points in hand over Ulster at the conclusion of their Pro12 clash at Parc y Scarlets.
Yellow cards were dished out to Pete Edwards, John Barclay and George Earle but the home side made light of the set-backs to begin the season with two wins from two.
The kicking of Dan Jones, who finished the game with 17 points, saw the Welsh side enjoy a 9-0 half-time lead, an advantage which they then extended early in the second half with a try from Hadleigh Parks.
Ulster made a fist at getting back into the game when Rory Scholes landed a try 10 minutes later but Stuart McCloskey’s conversion dropped short. And although Jones kicked another penalty, Ulster were awarded a penalty with nine minutes to go which Mcloskey this time put over.
With Earle sent to the bin, there was a chance for the Ulster men to close the gap further but a late penalty from Aled Thomas denied Neil Doak’s men even a losing bonus point.
Former Ireland flanker Stephen Ferris, described the display by Ulster as the “poorest in a long time."
"I think the majority of the (Ulster players) went on holiday," said Ferris.
"The standard out there was very, very poor. That performance was just not good enough. The second half didn't get much better. The 50-50s (passes and off-loads) didn't stick.
"When it's not your day and they aren't sticking, you don't throw them. You just hold on to the ball. There were just some schoolboy errors out there and Ulster paid the price in the end."
Meanwhile, Head coach of Scarlets, Wayne Pivac conceded that sin-binned players is not a trend that he would like to see become embedded in his side’s displays.
"I never wanted to win one of those (fair play awards) but there is a balancing act isn't there," said Pivac.
"At 19-12 with a few minutes to go and yellow cards going on it was very similar to last season (when Ulster fought back to draw 32-32), but luckily for us we were able to control those final moments at the right end of the field and that penalty from Aled Thomas was important to deny them a losing bonus point.
"When we are down in numbers we were able to fight hard for each other and really dig in because last year we were giving those leads away.
"That is pleasing, but we would like to be in a position by round three where we tidy that discipline issue up."