Scarlets U18s came up short against a powerful Cardiff side, losing 29-17 in their latest Regional Age Grade Championship fixture at Parc y Scarlets on Wednesday evening.
The U18s went into the game on the back of encouraging wins over the Dragons and RGC, but they were second best to the capital side, who completed the double over the West Walians.
Cardiff were up and running early when centre Elijah Evans burst through after two minutes and the visitors added another through lock Jaden Wilkins, who pounced on a loose ball from close range. Fly-half Harri Wilde extended the advantage with a well-struck penalty, with three points from the boot of Steffan Jac Jones all the Scarlets had to show from their first half efforts.
There were a few moments of promise, notably from openside Tiaan Sparrow, who made a superb stepping run upfield, but they weren’t able to put enough concerted pressure on the visitors.
Trailing 17-3 and needing an early score in the second period, the home side got just that when a clever blindside line-out move saw skipper Harry Thomas combine with No. 8 Keanu Evans to send the Ysgol y Strade pupil over.
Cardiff, though, reaserted their control through tries from No. 8 Lucas de la Rua and another from player of the match Evans and although replacement Cai Jones sniped over for a second late on, converted by Jones, Scarlets were unable to come away with any points from the contest.
Centre Macs Page and replacement Gabriel McDonald looked threatening in the second period, but there will be plenty to work as the Scarlets look to bounce back when they take on the Ospreys at Ysgol Cwm Brombil, Margam on Sunday (1pm).