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  • Bowe, Court, Diack,
    Penalty goals: Pienaar (3),
    Conversions: Pienaar (2),
28 - 17


  • Davies, Timani,
    Penalty goals: Williams,
    Conversions: Williams (2),
  • Guinness PRO12
  • Semi-final
  • 10th May 2013
  • KO 19:45
  • Ground: Ravenhill, Belfast
  • Att: 10,700

RaboDirect PRO12 semi-finals: Ulster too classy for Scarlets

Last updated: 11th May 2013   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Robbie Diack brushing off a tackler

Robbie Diack: scored Ulster's second try

 Tommy Bowe - Ulster Heineken Cup

Tommy Bowe: opening try for Ulster

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Regular season table-toppers Ulster saw off Scarlets 28-17 at Ravenhill to claim their place in the RaboDirect PRO12 final.

Ulster finished the season 15 points clear of the Welsh side and that gulf in class was clear as the game progressed on a rain-swept night in Belfast.

There was nothing between the sides until Tommy Bowe crashed over for the game's first try on 25 minutes but from then on Ulster took control and despite two late tries for Scarlets, the hosts always looked set to reach the final against either Leinster or Glasgow on May 25.

The Scarlets, who were making their first appearance in the play-offs, produced another flat display in the wake of last week's home thumping by Treviso, failing to score any points between the third and 60th minutes.

They opened the scoring with a third minute penalty from Owen Williams - a late replacement for Rhys Priestland - but Ulster quickly equalised through Ruan Pienaar two minutes later.

After that it was cagey stuff from both sides until Williams had a shot at goal after 17 minutes but the ball hit the right upright and Ulster cleared.

But the game came to life after a tremendous break from Jared Payne and a melee in the Scarlets 22 saw referee Alain Rolland send Andrew Trimble and Liam Williams to the bin, though Payne had just managed to touch down from a Pienaar cross-kick.

Ulster then began to turn the screw and after Nick Williams had driven on from a lineout near the Scarlets line, Pienaar switched the attack to the blindside and Bowe stepped inside fellow Lions squad member George North to score.

Rumbling maul

Pienaar added a marvellous conversion and five minutes later Ulster scored again with Robbie Diack touching down at the back of a rumbling maul off a lineout. Pienaar's conversion hit an upright but he kicked a penalty after the Scarlets scrum collapsed as first-half time expired.

Three minutes after the restart, Tom Court drove over from close range after Darren Cave's inside burst, following a mix-up in the Scarlets defence allowing Trimble and Rory Best to take the ball into the visitors' 22.

The game then settled down into a fairly uneventful period which was only altered by substitute Gareth Davies dancing through on the hour mark to score the visitors' first points since the third minute, with Williams converting.

Pienaar then nailed a 62nd minute penalty to push Ulster up to 28-10 and most of the remainder was about both sides emptying their benches and Ulster players avoiding injury ahead of the final at the RDS.

The Scarlets, though, did finish the stronger and substitute Sione Timani got over in the 78th minute for a consolation score from a quick tap penalty 10 metres out, with Williams again adding the extras.

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Forthcoming Guinness PRO12 Fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday 13th February
Guinness PRO12
19:35Ulster vs Benetton Treviso
20:05Edinburgh vs Ospreys
Saturday 14th February
19:35Munster vs Cardiff Blues
Sunday 15th February
12:45Scarlets vs Connacht
13:00Zebre vs Glasgow
15:00Leinster vs Newport Gwent D'gons
Friday 20th February
19:05Benetton Treviso vs Cardiff Blues
19:35Edinburgh vs Ulster
19:35Leinster vs Zebre
Saturday 21st February
14:40Scarlets vs Munster
17:15Glasgow vs Ospreys
Sunday 22nd February
16:00Newport Gwent D'gons vs Connacht
Friday 27th February
19:35Ospreys vs Leinster
19:35Ulster vs Scarlets
Saturday 28th February
19:15Munster vs Glasgow
Sunday 1st March
12:45Cardiff Blues vs Edinburgh
17:00Zebre vs Newport Gwent D'gons
17:15Connacht vs Benetton Treviso
Friday 6th March
19:35Cardiff Blues vs Connacht
19:35Glasgow vs Zebre
Saturday 7th March
14:40Ospreys vs Munster
17:15Scarlets vs Leinster
18:00Benetton Treviso vs Edinburgh
Sunday 8th March
16:00Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ulster
Friday 27th March
19:35Leinster vs Glasgow

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Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

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