Planet Rugby

Scarlets kick Dragons down

23rd October 2009 20:53

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Daniel Evands Scarlets

Scarlets full-back Daniel Evans

Six penalties from the boot of Rhys Priestland gave the Scarlets a rugged 18-3 win over the Dragons in a Magners League derby on Friday.

James Arlidge kicked the Dragons' only points as they remained in search of their first Magners League away win since January.

Paul Turner's side travelled having won three from five in the Magners League, but were chasing only their second ever win in Llanelli since the formation of the regions in 2003.

And they never looked like returning to Gwent with victory after a lacklustre showing in a drab encounter.

After a forgettable opening, fly-half Priestland broke the deadlock with a 13th-minute penalty before kicking another after 24 minutes, either side of Arlidge's effort.

Moments after Priestland's second penalty the Dragons nearly scored the game's first try.

Sean Lamont missed a tackle and the ball squirmed free over the line with Richard Fussell and Martyn Thomas in pursuit before it was grounded amid desperate Scarlets defence.

Both sides were struggling to make any impact as the first period drew to a close, although the Dragons again nearly snatched the lead as the half-time whistle approached.

Full-back Thomas found himself in space and kicked through for Ashley Smith, who gave chase before the ball trickled into touch just meters from the line.

The game might have ignited four minutes after the re-start when Scarlets prop Iestyn Thomas burst through, before offloading to David Lyons, but with the number eight nearing the line referee Peter Allan pulled play back for crossing.

Priestland gave the hosts some breathing space with two further penalties from distance in the 50th and 54th minutes.

Another Priestland penalty strengthened that grip further before Dragons wing Aled Brew was sin-binned with 13 minutes remaining.

That was the final nail in the Dragons coffin and Priestland sealed the win with his sixth penalty from as many attempts.

The scorers:

For the Scarlets:
Pens: Priestland 6

For the Dragons:
Pen: Arlidge

Scarlets: 15 Daniel Evans, 14 Lee Williams, 13 Sean Lamont, 12 Rob Higgitt, 11 Mark Jones, 10 Stephen Jones, 9 Martin Roberts, 8 David Lyons, 7 Dafydd Jones, 6 Simon Easterby, 5 Dominic Day, 4 Lou Reed, 3 Deacon Manu, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Iestyn Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Phil John, 17 Ken Owens, 18 Vernon Cooper, 19 Richie Pugh, 20 Tavis Knoyle, 21 Rhys Priestland, 22 Gareth Maule.

Dragons: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Aled Brew, 13 Tom Riley, 12 Ashley Smith, 11 Richard Fussell, 10 James Arlidge, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 Hoani MacDonald, 7 Gavin Thomas, 6 Danny Lydiate, 5 Luke Charteris, 4 Robert Sidoli, 3 Peter Bracken, 2 Tom Willis, 1 Hugh Gustafson.
Replacements: 16 Steve Jones, 17 Gethin Robinson, 18 Adam Jones, 19 Lewis Evans, 20 Jason Tovey, 21 Matthew Watkins, 22 Danny Lee.

Referee:Peter Allen (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Jon Mason (Wales), Simon Harris (Wales)
Television match official: Hugh Watkins (Wales)

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