Ulster coach Mark Anscombe said he was very disappointed with his side’s performance, and especially their discipline, after they went down 17-9 at the hands of Scarlets at Parc y Starlets.
Not only did Ulster miss out on a losing bonus point in breezy conditions but they found themselves with two men – David McIlwaine and Roger Wilson – in the bin in the second half.
Ulster were always in the game but fly-half Ruan Pienaar missed a second half penalty which would have brought them within two points of the Welshman.
“Pretty disappointed. I think they thoroughly deserved their victory and I thought we were pretty poor to be honest,” reflected Anscombe.
“We didn’t handle that wind very well in the first half, [although] I thought our defence was superb.
“But discipline has hurt us. We gave away a penalty at one stage that led to their try. We gave away another penalty right on half time. So instead of 8-3 at half time it was 11-3.
“We didn’t use the wind as well as they did. We didn’t have any momentum - we didn’t put any phases together,
“Two yellow cards. That (discipline) has been a strength of ours. We gave away the least last year and we have been tracking well this year and then all of a sudden two in one game.
“The breakdown we lost our way. Key players didn’t front up and the rest is history.
“We have had a disruptive week. We haven’t done much training what with the national team and guys going down there. We said we weren’t going to use that as an excuse.
“But we showed we didn’t have good cohesion out there from our preparation at training this week.. You would always back Ruan to get that penalty and that would have made it 14-12. Who knows what could have happened then.
“They took their chances and thoroughly deserved the win.”
Ulster now have a two-week break before they take on Edinburgh at Ravenhill on November 22.
“We have a couple of weeks break now and I think that will be good for us,” insisted Anscombe.
“We had a good win last week but it wasn’t a great performance and we had a pretty average one out there tonight
“Hopefully a few days off will refresh the batteries.”
Forwards coach Danny Wilson insists prop Phil John set the example which everyone followed as Scarlets claimed their second home win of the PRO12 campaign.
The 32-year-old was handed the captaincy.
For forwards coach Wilson there was no denying who got Scarlets moving while he also reserved praise for Tongan No.8 Sione Timani and his own performance against Ulster.
“The boys were outstanding, starting with Phil John,” said Wilson. “We definitely had a big foothold in that battle up front. I thought we had dominance at scrum.
“We had a try from a driving line-out; we were able to stop their drive relatively well and also carried very well.
“A number of forwards really gave us big carries and Sione was really prominent in that area. It was really pleasing.”