It was an "arm wrestle" and a "sticky win" but Ulster continue to grind out the results.

Eventually their endeavour yielded a bonus-point win that elevates them to second in the URC table ahead of Saturday's fixtures.

Dwayne Peel’s Scarlets arrived minus 23 players between injury and international call-ups but gave as good as they got against an Ulster side who themselves had to contend without a number of frontliners for the same reason.

"Very much an arm wrestle," was Dan McFarland’s summary of the 27-15 victory.

"I was very impressed with Scarlets for 60 minutes, with their defence.

"I thought they defended more aggressively and with more intent than I saw all year.

"They have some real danger in attack.

"With an inexperienced side, particularly in the backline, we worked really hard to contain them for a lot of time and we couldn’t really get anything going in our attack.

"It was a combination of their physicality off the edge and a little bit of us, in terms of decision-making on where the space was but we expected that, with some of the young and inexperienced guys in the backs that’s going to happen for us over the next number of weeks.

"We’ll look at that and work on that and pat them on the back for really hard work

"And doing really well to come out with a bonus point win."

Alan O'Connor relished the battle

Captain Alan O’Connor was pleased with his side’s hustle, especially after they had struggled to kill off teams in recent weeks.

"They were definitely up for it anyway," he said.

"They have a couple of big ball-carriers in their pack, I thought they played the conditions quite well in the first half.

"They pinned us down. We struggled to exit, they got some territory, possession, and put it into points so yeah, fair play to them.

"It wasn’t going to be easy, they were up for it. Obviously with Dwayne Peel coaching them, he’s come back, first time to Kingspan, so yeah, it was a sticky game, bonus-point win so I can’t complain."

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