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Ulster topple Scarlets to rise up United Rugby Championship table

By PA
(Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

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Ulster returned to United Rugby Championship action with a 27-15 bonus-point win over Scarlets in Belfast.

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After the scores were tied 10-10 at half-time, the Irish side ran in three second-half tries through Sam Carter, Gareth Milasinovich and Craig Gilroy to secure the victory.

Scarlets touched down twice through Samson Lee and Kemsley Mathias.

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Nathan Doak opened the scoring for the home side with a penalty in the third minute before Dan Jones did the same to level the match.

Ulster were held up when John Andrew – making his first start of the season – was enveloped by Carwyn Tuipulotu amongst others just as the hooker attempted to wriggle through for the score.

Just after Gilroy was yellow carded in the 27th minute for a high hit on Tom Rogers, it was the visitors who went ahead when Lee muscled over from close range.

Jones kicked a great conversion and Scarlets deservedly led 10-3 after playing with more verve and ambition.

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But Ulster struck back and, still with 14 men, ran a kickable penalty which allowed Angus Curtis to dot down near the posts, after Duane Vermeulen made the initial ground.

Doak’s conversion tied the scores just before Gilroy returned and the half ended with Jones missing a long-range shot at goal.

Tyler Morgan’s early break could have resulted in another Scarlets score only for Shaun Evans to knock on.

Ulster then responded when Ethan McIlroy broke a tackle, found space and fed Doak, whose kick through to the line was covered by Ioan Nicholas.

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The hosts had their second try in the 52nd minute when Carter broke through from close range, though Doak missed the extras.

Then a huge set from the resultant scrum eventually ended in Scarlets replacement prop Mathias reaching the line.

Evans missed the conversion and the scores were tied at 15-15.

Ulster hit back in the 65th minute from Milasinovich’s effort, which was converted by Doak.

The bonus point was secured shortly afterwards when Gilroy touched down.

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