10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
The runaway win gives Ulster the perfect preamble to their crucial Heineken Cup pool matches against Glasgow Warriors and Castres Olympique over the next fortnight.
Despite the partisan atmosphere generated by the capacity crowd in Belfast, it was the Scarlets who made more of the early running.
The Welsh region, Ulster's closest rivals in the league table, deservedly notched up the first points of the encounter through Aled Thomas' ninth minute penalty.
Ulster endeavoured to strike straight back with two promising breaks, but both were undone by knock ons before the visitors' 22 could even be breached.
With the unfortunate Adam D'Arcy succumbing to injury as early as the 14th minute, young Ricky Andrew made an unexpectedly premature entrance at full-back, just as Thomas missed his chance to double the Scarlets' tally with a penalty.
Then a blatantly forward cross-field pass from the visitors, followed by an infringement at the subsequent scrum, allowed Pienaar to draw the sides level from the Scarlets' 10-metre line.
Ulster soon put together their most fluent move of the match thus far, Pienaar embarking on an exhilarating run which started behind his own try-line. He took several Scarlets out of the equation and gave a smart pass to Andrew just shy of halfway.
The full-back toiled bravely under several heavy tackles before being dragged to ground, but the move served as a clear illustration of Ulster's ball-playing swagger, of which there was plenty more to come.
The hosts first inched into the lead in the 34th minute courtesy of Pienaar's boot, before second row Dan Tuohy made his exit after picking up another knock, with McComb replacing him.
Undaunted, Ulster continued to boss the match. Springbok Pienaar fired over another penalty from the 10-metre line for a 9-3 interval advantage.
With John Afoa and Paddy Wallace entering the fray on the resumption, Ulster came out for the second period in combative mood.
Mark Anscombe's side were good value for the evening's first try in the 44th minute, as a strong charge led by the forwards culminated in flanker Diack sliding between the posts after Rob Herring's savvy offload.
Pienaar raised the Ulster tally to 19 points with firstly the conversion of Diack's score and then his fourth penalty as the Scarlets were pulled up for crossing.
More excitement was to come with 55 minutes on the clock as man-of-the-match Williams bulldozed his way through half a dozen tackles with his final pass just eluding Wallace's outstretched arms.
The big number 8 then resolved to do it all himself seconds later, astutely capitalising on lacklustre Scarlets defence at a five-metre scrum to dive over the line. Pienaar converted once more, extending the gap between the teams to 26-3.
Williams soon left the pitch to a standing ovation and with the Scarlets now in freefall, Ulster thoughts began to turn to two more tries and a bonus point.
However, a lengthy stoppage for a seemingly serious injury to Wales winger George North broke up the game's momentum, and indeed it was the Scarlets who settled back into play more quickly.
Flanker Josh Turnbull touched down after several minutes' worth of concerted pressure and recycling from the visitors. Thomas converted to keep his side in the reckoning.
Any hopes of a valiant comeback were quashed, however, with seven minutes remaining as the in-form Trimble ran an impeccable diagonal line to pick up the last of a succession of quick, short passes, rip the Scarlets defence asunder and cross the whitewash.
Darren Cave converted this time and Ulster, now exuberant, had time not only to secure the bonus point, but add a fifth score to further rub salt into the Scarlets' wounds.
The first came in the form of a penalty try, with Thomas adjudged to have unfairly solicited the ball from Paddy Jackson as the young out-half shaped to make the final pass for a try - an offence for which the Scarlets number 10 was yellow carded.
The second was a textbook second row try, the hard-working McComb driving over from a 77th minute maul for his first try at this level.
Jackson converted both and although the visitors grabbed a late consolation in the dying seconds through Scott Williams, the result - and the clear 30-point gulf on the night - was definitive.
The only negatives for the Ulstermen were the injuries picked up by Tuohy (calf) and fellow Ireland squad member Luke Marshall (finger).
Speaking afterwards about the injury situation, Ulster boss Anscombe said: "It is not looking good for Dan. It's the same leg/calf injury so that's got to be a concern. It is early to tell but it is not looking good at this stage.
"Luke is a real concern with his finger. He backed up last week's game with another superb 40 minutes tonight.
"Jared (Payne) is a really big concern (with a groin injury). He is really important, but hopefully the few days off allows him sufficient time to be up for next week. We hopefully will have Rory Best back."
Commenting on his side's performance against the Scarlets, the New Zealander added: "We were a bit flat in that first half and were not looking after the ball and our breakdown work was pretty average. It was concerning to be honest.
"In fairness to the boys, they got it going early in second half and we pretty well controlled it. It was disappointing to concede that try at the end."
|Ulster Rugby Score Card|
|Scarlets Score Card|