The sun was shining over Llandovery today at the Scarlets A Celtic Cup opener against Ulster A.
It was a slow start for the Scarlets as the visitors claimed the first points on the board with two consecutive penalty kicks. But it wasn’t long until Efan Jones the boy from Caernarfon leapt over the try line. Rhodri Jones also made it over the line during the first half as well as Efan claiming his second try. The second half began with a penalty kick for the home team and several replacements for both teams. Ulster managed three extra tries during the second half including their finishing try of the match to claim the win.
Two minutes in and Ulster grabbed their first points of the game with a penalty kick, minutes later it was another penalty and the visitors were 6 points ahead.
Just before the 10th-minute scrum-half Efan Jones from RGC claims his debut try for the Scarlets after he grabs the ball from a strong maul. Fly-half Ioan Hughes converts successfully.
It was another fault from the home team as Bruce Houston kicks for an extra 3 points for the visitors.
After several minutes of grit and determination from both sides, Rhodri Jones saw his opportunity and made a run over the whitewash for our second try of the match, which was successfully converted by Ioan Hughes.
As half time approached visitors bagged themselves their first try from Azur Allison which was converted by Bruce Houston. But, the home team didn’t want to finish the first half at second place and out of nowhere came scrum-half Efan Jones to score his second try of the match.
Scarlets 21 Ulster 16
Minutes into the second half saw backs Osian Knott take a knock from the try posts as he tried to scoop the ball for a try, after being checked by medical staff he was up and ready to resume the game.
Before the 50th minute mark, Ioan Hughes took charge to add a crucial 3 points to the scoreboard with a penalty kick.
Ulster’s number 1 Callum Reid scored their next try, with a successful conversion from Houston. Greg George came off the bench to replace number 2 Dom Booth as well as Jac Wilson replacing fly-half Ioan Hughes.
Scrum-half Efan Jones made his debut match an unforgettable one with a hat-trick try during the last 20 minutes.
Kemlsey Mathias and Llyr Green replaced Steff Thomas and Alex Jeffries. With several replacements on the field, it was an opportunity for Ulster to spot the gaps in play and take advantage and that’s what number 7 David McCann did as he crossed the whitewash for a try, which was later converted by Houston.
The game was too close to call in the last 10 minutes of play, Dafydd Land and Gethin Davies came on to replace Efan Jones and Lewis Millin. Ulster’s Matthew Agnew received a yellow card which gave the Scarlets the advantage with a penalty kick.
Unfortunately to the Scarlets, after a hard graft at their own 22’ Ulster’s attack was strong and persistent and managed to get the ball over the try line for one last try.
Scarlets 32 Ulster 35