Scarlets welcome Leicester Tigers to Parc y Scarlets for the fifth round of the Heineken Champion Cup campaign.
Both sides are unlikely to make it out for the pool game looking for a victory to finish the campaign on a positive note.
The Scarlets name a strong matchday squad despite injuries forcing captain Ken Owens to play at number 8 for the second weekend in a row.
It’s the home side who put heart and soul in to the performance scoring two first half tries, through Rob Evans and Ken Owens, with an additional two in the first ten minutes of the second half, from Rob Evans and Johnny McNicholl, claiming a bonus point.
The opening quarter, despite plenty of endeavor from both sides, was a scoreless affair with neither side committing too much as they looked to get a foothold in the game.
Leicester head in to Scarlets’ 22 just as we reach the 20 minute mark putting the home side under pressure but Ryan Elias and his fellow forwards turn the ball over after some great defensive work.
Jonah Holmes is penalised for taking Gareth Davies off the ball. Dan Jones kicks us to the corner. The line out is a little sloppy but we hold on to the ball. We push passed Tigers defenders. Gareth Davies goes for the line but he’s held up. Rob Evans is there in support, David Bulbring adds weight behind him and he’s over!
Tigers get back in to Scarlets 22 from the restart after Scarlets are penalised for collapsing the maul. Gareth Davies gets us out of danger with a break in midfield. Kieron Fonotia is breaking every first up tackle and Leicester doesn’t have an answer to stop him.
Scarlets captain Ken Owens gets over the line for a second try for the region and his emotions are plain for everyone to see as he kicks the ball in to the crowd in celebration. Jones adds the conversion to push the Scarlets twelve points ahead.
Scarlets have wind in their sails as we head towards the 40-minute mark and are looking for more before half time. They finish the half with the lions’ share of possession and territory with plenty of running rugby. Owens looks as though he may cross for a second, his offload to Fonotia goes to ground but plenty of dtrmination and endeavor sees the Scarlets head in to the changing room full of heart and confidence.
Half time; Scarlets 12 Leicester Tigers 0
Scarlets get the second half underway in the same fashion as they finished the first. Plenty of determination and we win turnover ball early. Jones kicks us downfield winning us a five metre line out. The ball is lost and Tigers kick to touch but don’t get far.
We get back down there through a Jones kick to the corner. Another line out and loosehead prop Rob Evans is the man of the moment as he crosses for a second. Jones adds the conversion.
Within minutes, and still over thirty minutes remaining on the clock, we get back down in to Leicester’s 22 with a McNicholl break. He finds his mate Fonotia in support, he passes back to McNicholl and he’s over! Bonus point try! Jones adds the conversion.
With 50 minutes on the clock Rob Evans has done enough and is replaced with Wyn Jones coming on for a good half hour of action. Flanker Mike Williams is shown a yellow card for a no arms tackle.
With 64’ minutes on the clock we have a five-metre scrum, attacking ball. Steff Evans is out on the wing, he is the last man and puts his body over the line. The try is awarded but we head to TMO to check grounding. The try is awarded and Jones adds the conversion.
Tigers hit back with a try through flanker Will Evans to get their scoreboard ticking over.
Tigers get a try to finish the game but it’s too little too late as the Scarlets claim a victory!
Final score: Scarlets 33 Tigers 10
Man of the match: Ken Owens