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Ulster looking to top Pool 4 with home success

Thursday 13th December 2018

10:24 am (GMT)

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Ulster Rugby's Jacob Stockdale in action last week

Ulster Rugby could go top of Heineken Champions Cup Pool 4 with an emphatic victory over Scarlets on Friday night, live from Kingspan Stadium at 19:45 (BT Sport).

  • Ulster have lost just one of their last five tournament games against the Scarlets (W3, D1), with a first away win at Parc y Scarlets in Round 3 during that run.
  • Scarlets have lost four games in Europe on the bounce, their worst run since losing eight in a row between January 2015 and January 2016.
  • Since the start of the 2014/15 season, Scarlets have won just two of 13 away games (L11), picking up a losing bonus point on three occasions in those 11 defeats.
  • Scarlets have not won in Ireland in Europe’s top flight since beating Ulster in January 2007.
  • Ulster have won eight of their last nine Heineken Champions Cup games at the Kingspan (L1), winning those matches by an average margin of 20 points
  • Ulster have conceded more turnovers (52) than any other side so far this season.
  • Ulster have successfully converted just 58% of their kicks at goal so far, the worst rate in the competition to date.
  • Ulster’s Jacob Stockdale is one of four players to have scored a try in all three rounds this season (also Sofiane Guitoune of Toulouse, Leicester’s Manu Tuilagi and Sean Cronin of Leinster).
  • No one has made offloads than Ulster’s Will Addison so far (9, same as Toulouse’s Joe Tekori), and the Ireland utility back also ranks third for defenders beaten (17).
  • Ulster’s Michael Lowry is one of just three players to make 20+ carries and average over 10 metres per carry (10.6m, also Cheslin Kolbe of Toulouse, and Saracens’ Sean Maitland).

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Dominant Ulster bag bonus point win over Scarlets

Friday 14th December 2018

9:48 pm (GMT)

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Dominant Ulster bag bonus point win over Scarlets

Ulster's Jacob Stockdale celebrates scoring a try against Scarlets.

Ulster Rugby kept the pressure on Racing 92 in Pool 4 with a commanding bonus point win over Scarlets, triumphing 30-15 at the Kingspan Stadium on Friday night.

John Cooney got things going for Ulster with an early penalty and it was the home side that dominated possession and territory in the first half.

Scarlets prop Wyn Jones was sin-binned after infringing at the breakdown and Ulster took advantage immediately with lock Iain Henderson powering over after sustained pressure. Cooney converted the try in front of the posts.

Rhys Patchell managed to reduce Scarlets’ deficit at half-time with a penalty kick before the break to make it 10-3 to Ulster.

A spectacular try after the break from the away team levelled the scores, with scrum-half Gareth Davies intercepting a pass on his own line to run 60 metres and put in a perfectly weighted kick for Jonathan Davies to slide over. Patchell’s conversion made it 10-10.

However, Ulster hit right back through in-form winger Jacob Stockdale, who collected a precise grubber kick from Billy Burns – who was named Heineken Man of the Match – to dot down and give the Irish province back the lead.

Iain Henderson powered over again to score soon after and the home side collected an important bonus point after Cooney darted over following good work at the line-out – where Ulster were strong all night.

Tom Prydie did score a late consolation try for Scarlets but it was Ulster that made it three wins on the spin in the Heineken Champions Cup.

Ulster head to Welford Road in Round 5 to face Leicester Tigers, while Scarlets face last season’s finalists Racing 92.

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