Young Scarlets overpowered by Chiefs at Sandy Park

Rob LloydFeatured, News

A youthful Scarlets side put in a battling performance, but succumbed to Exeter Chiefs’ forward power in front of a bumper 8,000-plus crowd at Sandy Park.

Five of the home side’s nine tries came via a well-drilled line-out drive that was a potent weapon throughout.

Scarlets had their moments, notably through full-back Jac Davies, who set up tries for Ryan Conbeer and Scott Williams in each half. Wing Tomi Lewis also produced one of the moments of the match, tracking back brilliantly for a try-saving tackle when Chiefs looked certain to score from an interception.

Their other try was scored by hooker Lewis Morgan, who touched down on the back of one of the Scarlets’ own line-out surges.

However, the visitors spent most of the match on the back foot with the home scrum also a dominant force.

Scarlets had a strong wind in their favour in the first half, but it was the Chiefs who took early control through a trademark line-out drive score for skipper Max Norey and another close-range effort from centre Will Rigg inside the first 10 minutes

Scarlets did hit back thanks to an Efan Jones break which led to a penalty and an attacking line-out which saw Morgan cross. Charlie Titcombe guided the conversion in superbly.

However, Exeter responded in clinical fashion. Full-back Josh Hodge stepped over for his side’s third, then from the restart, Chiefs attacked from deep and Rigg was over for his second.

Desperately needing a score, Scarlets produced a second out of the top drawer.

Eddie James, on as a blood replacement for skipper Scott Williams, produced a brilliant pass to full-back Davies, who raced down the touchline before feeding left wing Conbeer for a free run to the line. Titcombe’s conversion attempt struck the upright.

Scarlets had further opportunities to score in the half – one of them thanks to a stunning 50:22 from the boot of Williams –  but their line-out let them down at crucial moments.

In contrast, the Chiefs’ line-out was proving a huge weapon with Norey ploughing over for his second eight minutes into the second half.

With the elements against them, Scarlets were struggling to gain any territorial foothold in the match.

But they did work their way over for a third try on 53 minutes through skipper Williams.

Jac Davies was again the provider, showing his pace down the touchline before putting in a lovely inside pass to the Wales international.

However, that was as good as it got with Chiefs adding to their tally with Norey crossing for his hat-trick, Lewis Pearson rampaging over and experienced replacement hooker Jack Yeandle bagging a brace in the dying minutes.


Exeter – tries: M. Norey (3), W. Rigg (2), J. Hodge, L. Pearson, J. Yeandle (2). Cons: J. Hodge (3), I. Jenkins, L. Sinclair (2)

Scarlets – tries: L. Morgan, R. Conbeer, S. Williams. Cons: C. Titcombe (2).