Preview: Ulster v Scarlets

Pic by Richard Early

Ulster v Scarlets in the Guinness PRO14

Date: Sunday, November 22 2020

Venue: Kingspan Stadium, Belfast

Time: 19:35 PM

SCARLETS face a tough task against an unbeaten Ulster in Belfast as they go in the hunt for three wins in a row.

Barring their first game against Glasgow, they have been in close contests ever since. Winning or losing by a converted try or less means that they are always in the game; three of those four games have gone the Welsh side’s way.

Before beating Connacht 20-14 in their last outing, the Scarlets fixture list would see them face three Irish sides in as many weeks. They’ve seen off their first, now come the two tough ones against runaway leaders Ulster and Leinster.

Llanelli have showed their grit this season. They have ground out victories in games against Benetton and last time out against Connacht – they’ll hope to dent Ulster’s winning record.

Here’s what forwards coach Richard Kelly had to say on Scarlets’ Twitter.

“We’ve got two of the best sides in the competition coming up in the next two weeks, but we’re looking at that as an exciting opportunity.

“We know what talent we’ve got in our side as well, and the reason everyone is involved in the game at this level is because you want to play against the best.”

What can be said about Ulster? They’ve been at the top for a number of years, falling short to their fellow countrymen Leinster, but who’s to say they’re not going to go one better this year?

The Ulstermen are unbeaten at the Kingspan in over two years and they’ll also have the boost of around 1,000 spectators in the stadium Sunday night after a successful trial against Benetton and extensive consultation with the IRFU, Belfast City Council and the Northern Ireland Executive. A tough task just got tougher for the Scarlets.

Number Eight, Greg Jones spoke highly of Scarlets’ defence, emphasising that it won’t be easy.

“Scarlets have been very competitive over the last few games. They’ve conceded the fewest tries in the Guinness PRO14 so they’ll be tough to break down.”

ULSTER: (9) John Cooney, (10) Bill Johnston, (11) Rob Lyttle, (12) Stewart Moore, (13) Luke Marshall, (14) Matt Faddes, (15) Michael Lowry, (1) Eric O’Sullivan, (2) John Andrew, (3) Marty Moore, (4) Alan O’Connor (C), (5) Kieran Treadwell, (6) Matty Rea, (7) Sean Reidy, (8) Marcell Coetzee

Replacements: (16) Adam McBurney, (17) Kyle McCall, (18) Tom O’Toole, (19) David O’Connor, (20) Jordi Murphy, (21) Alby Matthewson, (22) Ian Madigan, (23) Craig Gilroy

SCARLETS: (9) Dane Blacker, (10) Dan Jones, (11) Steff Evans, (12) Paul Asquith, (13) Steff Hughes (C), (14) Ryan Conbeer, (15) Angus O’Brien, (1) Rob Evans, (2) Taylor Davies, (3) Javan Sebastian, (4) Sam Lousi, (5) Danny Drake, (6) Ed Kennedy, (7) Jac Morgan, (8) Sione Kalamafoni

Replacements: (16) Daf Hughes, (17) Phil Price, (18) Werner Kruger, (19) Jas Price, (20) Uzair Cassiem, (21) Will Homer, (22) Sam Costelow, (23) Tyler Morgan