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Champions start in style

Ulster carried on where they had left off last May – securing a win to open their defence of the league title.

However it took them until the second half to gain the measure of a committed Llanelli Scarlets side who had quietened the Ravenhill crowd in the first period. Ulster trailed 16-11 at the break before scores from Paul Steinmetz and new signing Mark Bartholomeusz.

The reigning champions had made a dream start with two scores in quick succession with David Humphreys opening his 21 point haul with a penalty and a try. However the Scarlets, inspired by test half back pairing Dwayne Peel and Stephen Jones controlled the remainder of the half and look set to cause an upset before Ulster’s second half turn around.

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