Scarlets slip to first home PRO14 defeat of the season

Rob Lloyd News

Scarlets suffered their first home Guinness PRO14 defeat of the season, going down to a 14-9 loss to Conference B rivals Edinburgh in atrocious conditions at Parc y Scarlets.

The home side enjoyed plenty of territory and possession, but Edinburgh’s defence held firm on crucial occasions to ensure they headed home with the four points.

The Scots were clinical in claiming two first-half tries from wing Duhan van der Merwe and centre Matt Scott, while the boot of Scarlets fly-half Dan Jones ensured the game remained in the balance until the final whistle.

With Storm Dennis paying an unwelcome visit, the players were greeted by swirling wind and heavy rain.

And it was the visitors who adapted the better early on, crossing for the game’s opening try after just six minutes – a fine solo effort from the strong-running van der Merwe.

Dan Jones slotted a superb penalty to reduce the arrears, but despite hammering away at the Edinburgh line they were unable to get over. 

Jones added a second penalty on 35 minutes – which took him past 500 points in a Scarlets jersey – but Edinburgh struck with a sucker punch just before the interval when centre Matt Scott scythed through under the posts.

Trailing 14-6 at half-time, Scarlets began the second period with real purpose and a third Jones penalty dragged the home side closer.

In appalling conditions, the Scarlets kept giving themselves opportunities close to the Edinburgh line. Steff Hughes was hauled down from a clever blindside line-out move, then Uzair Cassiem spilled the ball after the Scarlets scrum had shoved Edinburgh back on their heels.

That proved the last chance for Scarlets and Edinburgh were able to wind down the clock to seal the victory and complete a seasonal double over the West Walians.

Scarlets – pens: D. Jones (3)

Edinburgh – tries: D. van der Merwe, M. Scott. Cons: J. van der Walt.