Ulster’s Celtic Cup hopes are all but over after the Province’s ‘A’ team suffered a 45-15 loss to Scarlets on Friday night.
The Welsh side out scored their hosts by six tries to two at Shaw’s Bridge to leave Kieran Campbell’s side with one point from two home games.
Bruce Houston a late call up to the starting line up after Jack Owens was forced to withdraw due to injury gave Ulster the lead on three minutes with a penalty after the Scarlets were punished at the breakdown.
Angus O’Brien levelled for the Welsh region on 10 minutes, despite kicking into a slight breeze the out half landed a penalty from 10 metres.
The Scarlets took the lead on 25 minutes after Ulster full back Iwan Hughes was sin binned, from the resulting scrum on the Ulster five metre line the visitors spun the ball quickly through the hands for centre Corey Baldwin to cross for the opening try with O’Brien adding the conversion.
The visitors had a second try three minutes later, Ulster were on the attack inside the Welsh side’s 22 but the Scarlets forced a turnover and move the ball wide quickly and winger Tomi Lewis sprinted over from his own half with O’Brien adding the conversion.
The Scarlets carved open the Ulster defence again on 34 minutes, the backs produced a slick handling move to create an overlap allowing full back Morgan Williams to go under the posts, O’Brien slotted over the easy conversion to give the Welsh side a 24-3 lead at the interval.
The visitors wrapped their bonus point up three minutes after the restart, from a scrum on the Ulster 10 metre Scarlets pivot soared through a gap in the home defence to touch down with O’Brien adding the extras.
The Scarlets struck again four minutes later, Steff Evans carried the ball close to the Ulster line it was quickly recycled and flanker Lewis Ellis-Jones barged over from close range with O’Brien converting.
Lock Bradley Luney got Ulster’s first try from a driving maul which Houston converted.
The Scarlets crossed again eight minutes later, from an attacking lineout replacement Ryan Conbeer went over with O’Brien converting.
Flanker Aaron Hall got Ulster’s second try on 65 minutes.
Ulster: I Hughes, R Baloucoune, M Lowry, J Hume, A Sexton, B Houston, G Curtis; P Copper, P Comie, P McGookin, M Dalton, B Luney, C Ross, M Agnew, J Dunleavy,
Replacements: C Milligan, T O’Hagan, M Cromie, J Reegan, M Rea, A Hall, M Stronge, C Fox
Scarlets: M Williams, T Lewis, C Baldwin, S Hughes, S Evans, A O’Brien, K Hardy; R Fawcettt, M Jones, S Gardiner, J Helps, L Rawlins, L Ellis-Jones, S Evans, T Phillips
Replacements: J Hughes, D Hughes, J Sebastian, M Jones, C Long, D Smith, E Davies, R Conbeer