Mark McCall declared that Ulster needed to win against Llanelli at Stradey Park if they were serious about retaining their League title this season but the visitors struggled to get into the match in the opening minutes of play and Llanelli got the first points on the board after just over 4 minutes when Ulster winger Tommy Bowe was penalised for killing the ball. Llanelli out-half Ceiron Thomas, coming in for Stephen Jones, one of a number of Llanelli internationals being rested ahead of the next round of Six Nations fixtures slotted over the kick. Llanelli 3 - 0 Ulster
Llanelli frustrated any Ulster attack and Mark McCall's side were dealt a blow when they lost scrum-half Isaac Boss to injury after just 18 minutes. Boss was replaced by Kieran Campbell but Ulster struggled to get good set-piece ball and Llanelli added another penalty on 29 minutes when Thomas kicked his second successful effort of the evening. Ulster finally added their first points from the boot of David Humphreys on 34 minutes after the Llanelli loose-head prop was penalised at the scrum. Llanelli 6 - 3 Ulster
Llanelli looked to be in for their first try when young scrum-half Liam Davies took a quick tap penalty and headed straight for the line, but Ulster No 8 Roger Wilson made an excellent wrap tackle and held him up over the line. The referee gave the panalty again to Llanelli because Ulster were not back 10 metres and Llanelli went for the posts this time, Thomas adding the three points. Llanelli 9 - 3 Ulster
Ulster replied immediately with a try from winger Andrew Trimble who showed great strength to hand-off the Llanelli defender Darren Daniel as he touched down in the corner after a pass from Wallace- the break coming when Kieran Dawson secured possession after Llanelli kicked the ball away from the back of a ruck. Humphreys couldn't add the extras from a difficult corner kick. Llanelli 9 - 8 Ulster
Thomas had one last opportunity to extend Llanelli's lead going into the break after Ulster were penalised for not releasing the ball but after three precise efforts misjudged his fourth to send the teams into the dressing rooms at half-time with just one point the difference.
Half-time score: Llanelli 9 - 8 Ulster
Ulster started the second half more brightly and were rewarded on 51 minutes when David Humphreys added 3 points from a penalty which saw the visitors take the lead for the first time in the match.
Llanelli 9 - 11 Ulster.
Out-half Humphreys used a cross-field kick to winger Tommy Bowe in the following passage of play - both Bowe and Llanelli winger Regan King went up for the high ball and Bowe thought he was in for the try until Scottish referee Peter Allen judged him to have knocked the ball on.
Llanelli took control again with a try on 61 minutes from replacement full-back Barry Davies. Davies who had just joined the field of play was on the receiving end of soome good Llanelli passing and accelerated up the right wing to slide in for the five points. Thomas was unable to add the conversion. Llanelli 14 - 11 Ulster.
David Humphreys endeavoured to put Ulster back in front on 66 minutes with a drop goal but the Llanelli defence was up on the out-half quickly forcing him to use his less favoured left foot and he pushed the ball wide of the posts.
The Ulster Management began to ring the changes with a raft of substitutions mid way through the second half, Justin Fitzpatrick, Ryan Caldwell, Kevin Maggs, new signing Sam Harding and young hooker Stuart Philpott all taking the field.
The young Llanelli side were living off their chances, all the while running down the clock but were penalised on 78 minutes when their replacement hooker was caught with his hands in the ruck. With time running out, David Humphreys took the opportunity to go for goal to put Ulster back on level terms. The out-half struck the ball sweetly but it just fell short of the posts.
You could sense that time had run out for Ulster against this inexperienced Llanelli side playing without their established internationals, and to add insult to injury, Thomas dealt the visitors one final blow when he added a further three penalty points with the last kick of the match.
Finals Score: Llanelli 17 - 11 Ulster
Match Report: UlsterRugby.ie
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