Planet Rugby

Tied game at Parc y Scarlets

19th October 2013 19:51

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Rhys Priestland for the Scarlets

16 points: Rhys Priestland

Racing Métro had a try disallowed at the death as they played out a 26-26 draw away to the Scarlets in an epic Heineken Cup clash on Saturday.

However, Racing may be content with the draw after having come from 13 points down to secure a hard-fought share of the spoils in South Wales.

Scott Williams and Rhodri Williams both touched down for the Scarlets after they trailed 10-0 to the French giants but tries from Wenceslas Lauret and Masi Matadigo handed the visitors a draw.

Both sides are level on six points apiece after a win and a draw from their opening two matches with the Scarlets facing a double header against Clermont Auvergne while Racing Metro take on Harlequins in their next two fixtures.

Racing Metro started well and took a deserved lead as the visitors powered through the Scarlets forwards on their own scrum and flanker Lauret picked up to score from five metres out. Ireland international Jonny Sexton added the extras before extending his side's lead to 10 points with a penalty after 12 minutes.

Rhys Priestland got the home side on the scoreboard with a penalty minutes later and the Scarlets fans were soon on their feet as centre Scott Williams continued his sparkling early season form with another try. His Welsh team-mate Jonathan Davies broke free on the right wing and Williams found himself in acres of space as he received the inside pass to cross over the try-line, which Priestland duly converted.

The Scarlets were growing in confidence and they were given a huge boost as Dimitri Szarzewski was sent to the bin for not releasing to allow Priestland to kick the hosts into the lead. Simon Easterby's men looked to make the most of their man advantage, which soon became a two man advantage as French international Fabrice Estebanez was yellow carded for lashing out at a Scarlets player.

The Welsh side opted to kick for touch and their ambition was rewarded as scrum-half Williams darted over the try-line after picking up from the back of the lineout drive. As the clock went red, Priestland slotted the conversion to give the Scarlets a 10 point lead at the interval.

Th Scarlets extended their lead early on in the second half as Priestland split the posts with a kick just inside Racing's half after Lauret was penalised by referee Neil Paterson for going over the top.

The French outfit finally stopped the Scarlets rampage as Sexton kicked his second penalty as Racing Metro were back to their full complement of players.

Momentum swung heavily in favour of the visitors and they clawed themselves right back into the game as Fijian powerhouse Matadigo delicately dribbled the ball at the back of a driving maul before touching down. Sexton made light work of the conversion to bring his side to within three points of the hosts with 25 minutes left on the clock.

The fly-half added another penalty as the game ticked into the final quarter to level the scores at 23-23 as the Scarlets continued to struggle at the lineout. After another Scarlets blunder at the lineout, Racing Metro looked to clear but lock Jake Ball charged down a kick and came within inches of the visitors' try-line.

The home side were camped in Racing's 22 and they were given their reward as Priestland kicked his fourth penalty after the away side were penalised for going over the top but Sexton responded with another three points with 10 minutes to go.

The Irish fly-half had the opportunity to put his side ahead as his forward drove half the length of the pitch with the Scarlets eventually conceding the penalty, but Sexton dragged his kick wide of the posts.

Racing thought they had snatched victory at the death as Lauret touched down with the clock in over time but replays showed the ball was knocked on in the build up as the points were shared at Parc y Scarlets.

The scorers:

For Scarlets:
Tries: S Williams, R Williams
Con: Priestland 2
Pen: Priestland 4

For Racing Métro:
Tries: Lauret, Matadigo
Con: Sexton 2
Pen: Sexton 4

Scarlets: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Nick Reynolds, 13 Jonathan Davies (capt), 12 Scott Williams, 11 Jordan Williams, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Rhodri Williams, 8 Josh Turnbull, 7 John Barclay, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 George Earle, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Emyr Phillips, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Rob Evans, 18 Rhodri Jones, 19 Joe Snyman, 20 Craig Price, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Steven Shingler, 23 Gareth Maule.

Racing Métro: 15 Benjamin Lapeyre, 14 Adrien Plante, 13 Henry Chavancy, 12 Alexandre Dumoulin, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Jonny Sexton, 9 Laurent Magnaval, 8 Masi Matadigo, 7 Dan Lydiate, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Francois van der Merwe, 4 Juandre Kruger, 3 Luc Ducalcon, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski (capt), 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Virgile Lacombe, 17 Eddy Ben Arous, 18 Julien Brugnaut, 19 Fabrice Metz, 20 Camille Gerondeau, 21 Ruan Snyman, 22 Fabrice Estebanez, 23 Benjamin Dambielle.

Referee: Neil Paterson

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