Ulster must draw some inspiration
Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin is hoping that the memory of having drawn in Llanelli three weeks ago will serve to motivate a number of his players when they return to the South Wales venue tonight.
Armed with that experience, he is warning them to expect another hard-fought scrap.
The Ravens and Llanelli, the Scarlets’ second string, drew 21-21 when they met in the British and Irish Cup at Parc y Scarlets on February 12, a disappointing result for the guests given the strength of the side they fielded that night.
The Ulster line-up saw Jamie Smith, Timoci Nagusa, Ryan Caldwell and David Pollock start, with Ian Humphreys, Ed O’Donoghue, Nigel Brady, Willie Faloon and Darren Cave entering the fray from the bench.
With the exception of Fallon, each of those nine players starts tonight.
McLaughlin said: “We know only too well what to expect at Parc y Scarlets.
“They will make us fight for every blade of grass.
“If we are going to come away with the win we really need, we’ll have to play out of our socks and be mentally prepared for a real fight.”
Tom Court and BJ Botha — both of whom were missing three weeks ago — return to the loose and tight head sides of the front row respectively and with Dan Tuohy switching to the blind side flank in the absence of Stephen Ferris, Ryan Caldwell is back to partner Ed O'Donoghue in the second row.
Isaac Boss and Humphreys are together at half-back, with Paddy Wallace and Cave in tandem in midfield and Andrew Trimble and Nagusa the wingers.
Meanwhile, Ulster’s match against the Ospreys has been refixed for Ravenhill on Friday March 19 (6.10pm)
Both sides will be short a number of international players as Ireland host Wales in a Six Nations match at Croke Park 24 hours later.
Ulster will then step up their pursuit of a Top Four place against Cardiff Blues at Ravenhill on Saturday 3 April (7.30).