Pienaar shines for Ulster
South African duo Ruan Pienaar and Robbie Diack both shone for Ulster as the Ravenhill outfit won 47-17 against the Scarlets in the RaboDirect PRO12 on Friday.
The visitors started brightly as they looked to bounce back from a crushing defeat to rivals Ospreys on Boxing Day, despite having a considerably depleted side, and they took the lead with an Aled Thomas penalty inside the opening 10 minutes.
The league leaders grew in confidence and gradually began to play more expansively as the first half developed though and three penalties from the boot of the imperious Pienaar gave them a 9-3 lead at the break.
But it was at the start of the second half that Ulster really exploded into action as Kiwi number eight Nick Williams produced an offload for Rob Herring and he took the ball on and found Diack, who dived over underneath the posts.
Pienaar added another three points moments later and the home side were out of sight before the hour mark as Williams used all of his weight and huge frame to force his way over from short range.
The Scarlets did rally briefly late on as a good run from Kristian Phillips laid the platform for a concerted period of pressure and Thomas found Josh Turnbull, who powered his way over the whitewash for a consolation try.
But that only served to spark the home side back into life and they ruthlessly put their opponents to the sword with three further tries in the final 10 minutes to comfortably secure a try bonus point. Jackson and Darren Cave combined quickly to put Trimble through a hole in the Welshmen's defence before referee Leighton Hodged awarded a penalty try in the right-hand corner and replacement Neil McComb forced his way over from short range.
Scott Williams showed searing pace to score a second consolation try for the visitors with the last play of the match and reduce the margin of victory to 30 points but Ulster were clear and deserved winners and stretch their lead at the top of the table.