Scarlets claim bonus-point win in edge-of-the-seat thriller

Scarlets claim bonus-point win in edge-of-the-seat thriller

RESULT
Scarlets V Benetton Rugby
22 OCT 2021 KO 19:00 | Parc y Scarlets
34
 
28
United Rugby Championship
Att.: 6074 BBC Wales
Head to Head
Scarlets Benetton Rugby
WINS
21
7
LOSSES
7
21
DRAWS
0
0


Scarlets claimed a morale-boosting bonus-point win over Benetton, but it was a nerve-wracking United Rugby Championship contest that went down to the wire.

The home side crossed for four tries in all, two from scrum-half Dane Blacker to add to scores from front-rowers Rob Evans and Marc Jones in each half.

A combination of Dan Jones and Angus O’Brien added crucial points with the boot and in a match that fluctuated throughout, Scarlets were clinging on in an edge-of-the-seat finale.

The win owed a lot to a much-improved defensive effort. The back row of Shaun Evans, Blade Thomson and Aaron Shingler, on his 200th appearance, worked tirelessly, while skipper Scott Williams produced a couple of magical touches to claim the player-of-the-match award.

On the back of heavy defeats to Munster and Leinster, the win will be a huge boost to head coach Dwayne Peel and his squad as the competition shuts down for an international break.

After Shingler, Rob Evans (150th appearance) and Steff Hughes (100th appearance) had led the side out, it was Benetton who pressed for an early score.

But it was the men in scarlet who were first over the whitewash on 16 minutes.

Blacker made the crucial break inside the Benetton 22, the forwards carried towards the line and eventually loose-head Evans ploughed his way between the posts for his second try of the campaign. Dan Jones landed the straightforward conversion.

Three minutes later and the home crowd were celebrating again, brought to their feet by a spectacular Scarlets special.

Handling straight out of the NBA from Steff Evans, Aaron Shingler and Sam Lousi found Williams; the centre dummied, sidestepped, then put his foot to the pedal to race into the visitors’ 22 before finding Blacker on his shoulder for a stunning try.

Jones’s conversion put the Scarlets 14-0 ahead, but the hosts had to dig deep for the remainder of the half as Benetton responded strongly.

After knocking on the door on a number of occasions, the Italians eventually found a way through courtesy of scrum-half and skipper Dewalt Duvenage, a try converted by South African compatriot Rhyno Smith.

Leading 14-7 at the break, the Scarlets went looking to put crucial daylight between the sides, but it was the hosts who were out of the blocks first and levelled matters three minutes after the restart thanks to a rampaging run from prop Thomas Gallo, a score confirmed after extensive consultation with the TMO.

Jones landed a penalty to nudge Scarlets ahead, then after Steff Evans had a score chalked off, a rumbling forward drive saw Marc Jones emerge from under a pile of bodies for the score.

There was still plenty of drama to follow.

Gallo forced his way over for his second, but the game continued to swing from one end to the next.

Williams was involved again in Blacker’s second, picking up one-handed, breaking clear and finding the scrum-half haring alongside him once again for a try converted by replacement Angus O’Brien.

An O’Brien penalty extended the lead to 34-21 and the game looked done and dusted when Steff Evans picked up a loose ball and raced away to the corner.

However, the TMO was involved yet again and the score was ruled out for a knock-on in the build-up.

That was the incentive Benetton needed. O’Brien had a looping pass intercepted by wing Tommaso Menoncello, then the Italians pressed in the dying exchanges, only for the Scarlets to force a knock-on on their own line.

RESULT
Scarlets V Benetton Rugby
22 OCT 2021 KO 19:00 | Parc y Scarlets
34
 
28
United Rugby Championship
Att.: 6074 BBC Wales

SCORECARD
ScarletsBenetton Rugby
Dane Blacker(2)
Rob Evans
Marc Jones
TRY Tommaso Menoncello
Dewaldt Duvenage
Thomas Gallo(2)
Dan Jones(3)
Angus O'Brien
CON Rhyno Smith(4)
Dan Jones
Angus O'Brien
PEN -
- DG -
- YC -
- YC -


Head to Head
Scarlets Benetton Rugby
WINS
21
7
LOSSES
7
21
DRAWS
0
0


SCORECARD
ScarletsBenetton Rugby
Dane Blacker(2)
Rob Evans
Marc Jones
TRY Tommaso Menoncello
Dewaldt Duvenage
Thomas Gallo(2)
Dan Jones(3)
Angus O'Brien
CON Rhyno Smith(4)
Dan Jones
Angus O'Brien
PEN -
- DG -
- YC -
- YC -




Scarlets claimed a morale-boosting bonus-point win over Benetton, but it was a nerve-wracking United Rugby Championship contest that went down to the wire.

The home side crossed for four tries in all, two from scrum-half Dane Blacker to add to scores from front-rowers Rob Evans and Marc Jones in each half.

A combination of Dan Jones and Angus O’Brien added crucial points with the boot and in a match that fluctuated throughout, Scarlets were clinging on in an edge-of-the-seat finale.

The win owed a lot to a much-improved defensive effort. The back row of Shaun Evans, Blade Thomson and Aaron Shingler, on his 200th appearance, worked tirelessly, while skipper Scott Williams produced a couple of magical touches to claim the player-of-the-match award.

On the back of heavy defeats to Munster and Leinster, the win will be a huge boost to head coach Dwayne Peel and his squad as the competition shuts down for an international break.

After Shingler, Rob Evans (150th appearance) and Steff Hughes (100th appearance) had led the side out, it was Benetton who pressed for an early score.

But it was the men in scarlet who were first over the whitewash on 16 minutes.

Blacker made the crucial break inside the Benetton 22, the forwards carried towards the line and eventually loose-head Evans ploughed his way between the posts for his second try of the campaign. Dan Jones landed the straightforward conversion.

Three minutes later and the home crowd were celebrating again, brought to their feet by a spectacular Scarlets special.

Handling straight out of the NBA from Steff Evans, Aaron Shingler and Sam Lousi found Williams; the centre dummied, sidestepped, then put his foot to the pedal to race into the visitors’ 22 before finding Blacker on his shoulder for a stunning try.

Jones’s conversion put the Scarlets 14-0 ahead, but the hosts had to dig deep for the remainder of the half as Benetton responded strongly.

After knocking on the door on a number of occasions, the Italians eventually found a way through courtesy of scrum-half and skipper Dewalt Duvenage, a try converted by South African compatriot Rhyno Smith.

Leading 14-7 at the break, the Scarlets went looking to put crucial daylight between the sides, but it was the hosts who were out of the blocks first and levelled matters three minutes after the restart thanks to a rampaging run from prop Thomas Gallo, a score confirmed after extensive consultation with the TMO.

Jones landed a penalty to nudge Scarlets ahead, then after Steff Evans had a score chalked off, a rumbling forward drive saw Marc Jones emerge from under a pile of bodies for the score.

There was still plenty of drama to follow.

Gallo forced his way over for his second, but the game continued to swing from one end to the next.

Williams was involved again in Blacker’s second, picking up one-handed, breaking clear and finding the scrum-half haring alongside him once again for a try converted by replacement Angus O’Brien.

An O’Brien penalty extended the lead to 34-21 and the game looked done and dusted when Steff Evans picked up a loose ball and raced away to the corner.

However, the TMO was involved yet again and the score was ruled out for a knock-on in the build-up.

That was the incentive Benetton needed. O’Brien had a looping pass intercepted by wing Tommaso Menoncello, then the Italians pressed in the dying exchanges, only for the Scarlets to force a knock-on on their own line.