Scarlets A power through for second win of Celtic Cup campaign

14 Sep 2019
Scarlets A power through for second win of Celtic Cup campaign
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Scarlets A drew first blood in the Rodney Parade double header, claiming the spoils 40-35 in an entertaining 11-try Celtic Cup clash with the Dragons.

In a free-scoring affair played in glorious sunshine, the visitors claimed a maximum haul of points thanks to a brace of tries from centre Ioan Nicholas and further scores from scrum-half Jonathan Evans, hooker Daf Hughes, wing Tom Lewis and a penalty try.

The win was the Scarlets’ second in the Celtic Cup, building on last weekend’s victory over the Ospreys.

The Scarlets were out of the blocks in rapid fashion and crossed for the first try after just five minutes when Nicholas latched onto a clever kick through from scrum-half Evans. Fly-half Hughes converted.

The Dragons’ response was swift with centre Connor Edwards hitting a good line to open the home account, then prop Josh Reynolds crossed after an interception had denied a Scarlets attack.

The lively Evans sniped over from short range against his former side for the Scarlets’ second and with Hughes on target off the tee the scores were level again.

A see-sawing contest saw Reynolds cross for his second, but it was the men from West Wales who finished the half the stronger.

Nicholas picked up a loose pass to race 30 metres unopposed for the Scarlets’ third, then hooker Daf Hughes emerged from a line-out drive for the bonus-point try to make it 26-21 on the stroke of half-time.

It was the Dragons who responded the quickest after the break with Edwards cutting through for his second, but with the Scarlets’ scrum gaining the ascendancy, the men from the west started to take control.

Lawrence was yellow carded for a cynical penalty on his own line on 56 minutes and from the ensuing scrum, the Scarlets eight marched the home seven back over the line leaving referee Dewi Phillips little option but to award a penalty try.

With 10 minutes left on the clock, the Scarlets saved their best try for last.

Morgan Williams scythed through with barely a hand laid on him; his pass found replacement Tomi Lewis out wide and the Wales U20s speedster stood up Joe Goodchild before racing over in the corner.

A try by replacement David Richards gave the home side late hope, but even though replacement Harri Doel was yellow carded for an illegal aerial challenge, the Scarlets were able to see out the final minutes to secure the win.

Dragons - tries: J. Reynolds (2), C. Edwards (2), D. Richards. Cons: A. Robson (3), C. Penny (2).

Scarlets - tries: I. Nicholas (2), J. Evans, D. Hughes, Pen Try, T. Lewis. Cons: I. Hughes (4).