Scarlets headed to Galway to take on Connacht in the fourth round of the Guinness PRO14 looking for a victory to keep the winning momentum alive.
From the first few minutes Connacht got the upper hand scoring a try from centre Tom Farrell and kept Scarlets out of touch for the remainder of the game.
Despite not having much territory or possession throughout the game Scarlets came back within six points with only eight minutes left on the clock. It was Connacht’s evening as they sealed the win.
Scarlets suffer an injury early on in the fourth round clash at The Sportsground leaving the visitors to fend off Connacht with 14 men. Play continues in the Scarlets 22 with Connacht looking to take advantage of the one-man overlap.
The visitors hold strong and regain possession making their way out of the 22. Cummins is replaced by David Bulbring as he heads off for a HIA.
With only four minutes on the clock centre Tom Farrell gets Conacht’s first points on the board crossing under the posts. Outside half Jack Carty adds the conversion.
Scarlets hit back with a penalty from Leigh Halfpenny on the 8thminute mark after Connacht are penalised in their own territory.
Connacht get back in to our half winning a scrum just outside the 10 metre line after Ed Kennedy knocks the ball on. We return to near enough an identical spot for a second scrum before Connacht get the ball moving in field. This time it’s their turn to knock on, it’s a Scarlets scrum. The homeside come away with the penalty at the scrum and Carty adds the 3 points.
From the restart we head in to Connacht territory. They’re penalised for not rolling away and are moved back for retaliation. Halfpenny steps up for the penalty and he clears beautifully.
They’re back in Scarlets territory once again looking to ship the ball. Bundee Aki hits hard lines in midfield but he’s tackled to the ground. Connacht recycle the bal, Scarlets defence holds strong but winger Cian Kelleher, from nowhere, spots a gap and he darts over the line. Carty adds the conversion.
Within minutes Scarlets Kiwi pairing Kieron Fonotia and Johnny McNicholl combine superbly as we head deep in to Connacht’s territory. Fonotia with a fantastic pass to McNicholl and the winger runs in for the try. Halfpenny adds the conversion.
Connacht come back on the attack in the closing minutes. They’re looking to get that third try before the half time whistle. Despite their efforts they can’t quite break the defensive line but do win a penalty just inside our 22 and kick an easy penalty to push them seven points ahead.
Half time: Connacht 20 Scarlets 13
Scarlets look to get the second half underway strongly but despite possession Connacht’s defence holds strong pushing the visitors back over the halfway line.
The homeside push us back on to our own try line. The ball is lost forward as Connacht hit a line with one eye on the whitewash. Fonotia passes back inside in the dead ball area, it’s caught by Connacht hands and touches down. He’s offside, try not given.
Gareth Davies clears from a Scarlets scrum five, Connacht gather, kick back downfield, Patchell touches down on the whitewash for a 22 drop out. Touch judge isn't certain that it was on the line. TMO confirms it was. Scarlets get the 22 drop out which leads to a period of play between the 22s. A handling error by Patchell hands possession back to Connacht.
Connacht are back on the attack in our 22. They build through the phases from the initial scrum. Huge defensive effort by the Scarlets. We keep Connacht away from the whitewash. Party gets a cross field kick in with Kelleher unmarked out wide. Mcnicholl spots the danger and gets fingertips to the ball.
Advantage Connacht as they edge in to our 22. They opt for posts and it's another three points for Jack Carty. Gôl gosb gan Jack Carty.
Scarlets scrum five. We're penalised once again for pulling it down. Connacht look to add three points. Carty doesn’t falter eventhough it’s a difficult kick for the right footed outside half.
A great pass from Jake Ball in the midfield to Wyn Jones sets us up nicely for a try. Tom Prydie crosses the whitewash. Patchell adds the conversion to bring Scarlets back within seven points.
It’s far from over however as Connacht’s replacement Niyi Adeolokun runs in a great try under the posts from a great pass on Scarlets’ 22 with just five minutes left on the clock. Carty adds the conversion.