Nine-try Scarlets dazzle Dragons

Rob LloydAcademy News, News

A rampant Scarlets U18s produced a sizzling second-half display to run away with a 64-7 victory over the Dragons in their second regional age-grade clash of the campaign at Parc y Scarlets.

Backing up their free-running win in Cardiff a week earlier, the young Scarlets turned on the style again, scoring nine tries, seven after the break.

At the heart of it was the outstanding back row of Dom Kossuth, No. 8 Deian Gwynne and skipper Tiaan Sparrow, who picked up a successive player-of-the-match award following his two-try display.

Kossuth came close to the nod, while prop Tom Phillips, centre Elis Price, full-back Iori Badham and fly-half Steff Jac Jones were other standout performers.

There were just two minutes on the clock when the scoreboard operator was brought into action thanks to a superb solo try by Badham, who showed good pace and elusiveness to step away from a couple of defenders to cross at the posts. Fly-half Steff Jac Jones added the extras and then a penalty following another weaving run by the lively Badham.

Dragons, though, responded with a sniping try from scrum-half Carter Pritchard, converted by half-back partner Aneurin Evans.

Scarlets were over for their second on 27 minutes, Elis Price – the brother of Scarlets lock Jac – going route one to the posts and taking the Dragons defence with him. Jones converted to make it 17-7 at the break.

The home side extended their lead four minutes after the restart with Sparrow crossing from close range after props Phillips and Jac Pritchard had made the hard yards from a tap penalty. Jones’s conversion took the score out to 24-7 and from then on it was one-way traffic.

Sparrow burst through before feeding Price who put co-centre Gryff Watkins over for the bonus-point try and the tries kept on coming.

The pick of the lot came from Kossuth, who charged downfield on a lung-bursting 65-metre rampage to the posts, leaving Dragons defenders in his wake.

Replacement scrum-half Bowyn Clark was next over after more slick interplay by forwards and backs and wing Sion Jones made the most of turnover ball to race away for try number seven. Fellow replacement Carwyn Jones’s conversion brought up the half century.

Try number eight was all about the forwards, driving powerfully off an attacking line-out for a score by substitute front-rower Lewis Jones.

Carwyn Jones’s fourth conversion made it 57-7, then player of the match Sparrow finished things off with his second try, charging down, gathering and racing unopposed to the posts. To rub salt into the wounds, Sparrow also added the conversion from straight in front to make it two wins from two and 16 tries racked up by Tom Phillips’s side.

The Scarlets are in action again on Sunday when they host RGC at the Parc y Scarlets training pitch (2.30pm ko).

Scarlets U18s – tries: I. Badham, E. Price, T. Sparrow (2), G. Watkins, D. Kossuth, B. Clarke, S. Jones, L. Jones. Cons: S. Jones (3), C. Jones (4), Sparrow. Pens: S. Jones.

Dragons U18s  – try: C. Pritchard. Con: A. Evans.