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Jones departs Scarlets on a high

05th May 2012 22:10

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Stephen Jones Jan 2012

Stephen Jones: Given a victorious send-off to his illustrious Scarlets career

Stephen Jones ended his Scarlets career on a high after helping his side claim a 29-20 bonus point win over Cardiff Blues.

The Scarlets came into this Welsh derby needing at least a bonus point win to have any chance of reaching the Pro12 play-offs. But despite the win, the Scarlets are unable to qualify for the play-offs as Glasgow beat Connaught to secure fourth place.

They had a nightmare start, as a turnover enforced by Welsh international Gethin Jenkins allowed Andries Pretorius to take advantage of hesitant Scarlets defending to score in the corner.

Ceri Sweeney added the extras to give the visitors an early 7-0 lead, but a Rhys Priestland penalty narrowed the Blues lead to four points.

It took a miraculous try-saving tackle from Sean Lamont to prevent Harry Robinson from increasing the Blues score. Gareth Davies' converted try provided optimism for the Scarlets that they could achieve their four-try requirement, but with Josh Navidi at the forefront, the Blues were proving difficult to break down.

The Blues regained the lead at the start of the second half as Alex Cuthbert scored a well-worked try. Excellent handling between backs and forwards enabled Davies to score his second of the game and send the home side into a 17-12 lead.

A try from Robinson levelled the scores at 17-17, before Blues replacement Dan Parks then kicked his side into the lead.

Welsh legend Stephen Jones was given a deserved standing ovation from the sell-out Parc Y Scarlets when he was substituted with 15 minutes to go.

The Scarlets all-time points' record holder will bring the curtain down on a 15 year association with the Welsh region at the end of the season.

The Scarlets bonus point came curiosity of a Lloyd Williams score and a penalty try which put them into an unassailable 29-20 lead with just minutes remaining.

The scorers:

For Scarlets:
Tries: Davies 2, Williams, Penalty
Cons: Priestland 3
Pens: Priestland

For Blues:
Tries: Cuthbert, Pretorius, Robinson
Cons: Parks, Sweeney
Pens: Parks

Scarlets: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Sean Lamont, 13 Nick Reynolds, 12 Stephen Jones, 11 Andy Fenby, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Josh Turnbull (capt), 6 Kieran Murphy, 5 Dominic Day, 4 Aaron Shingler, 3 Deacon Manu, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Rhodri Jones.
Replacements: 16 Emyr Phillips, 17 Phil John, 18 Simon Gardiner, 19 Damian Welch, 20 Johnathan Edwards, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Adam Warren, 23 Viliame Iongi.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Chris Czekaj, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Harry Robinson, 10 Ceri Sweeney, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Andries Pretorius, 7 Josh Navidi, 6 Maama Molitika, 5 James Down, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Marc Breeze, 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 John Yapp, 18 Ryan Harford, 19 Macauley Cook, 20 Luke Hamilton, 21 Richie Rees, 22 Dan Parks, 23 Gavin Evans.

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