John Cooney kicks Ulster to thrilling 15-13 win over Scarlets

Ulster managed to start their Pro14 campaign with a win
Ulster managed to start their Pro14 campaign with a win

Ulster 15-13 Scarlets, Belfast

John Cooney kicked five penalties including a last minute three-pointer as Ulster managed to edge out Scarlets with a thrilling 15-13 win in Belfast on Saturday.

Fly-half Rhys Patchell gave a head start to Scarlets with a converted try in the seventh minute to take them to seven points but Cooney kicked three penalties in the remainder of the first half as the first half ended with a 9-7 lead for the home side.

With Patchell replaced in the 49th minute, Dan Jones made an impact straightaway with a penalty in the 54th minute to take Scarlets to a one-point lead following which Cooney and Jones traded three-pointers as the Welsh regional side maintained a slender 12-13 lead heading into the final 10 minutes.

Scarlets suffered a setback when Ed Slater was sin-binned in the 68th minute making a tough 12 minutes for the visitors.

Just as it looked like Scarlets might hold on to their lead, Cooney, the only points scorer for Ulster in the game kicked the decisive penalty kick in the final minute to complete a thrilling 15-13 victory.

Ulster are set to host Edinburgh next on 8th September while Scarlets will take on Leinster in the second round at Parc y Scarlets on 9th September.