Scarlets warm up for Munster in style

23rd Mar 2007, 22:52

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Llanelli Scarlets got some momentum going ahead of next weekend's Heineken Cup quarter-final with a thumping 35-11 win over the Dragons on Friday at Stradey Park in the Magners League.

Llanelli Scarlets got some momentum going ahead of next weekend's Heineken Cup quarter-final with a thumping 35-11 win over the Dragons on Friday at Stradey Park in the Magners League.

The home side were so dominant they had sealed a bonus point within the hour as they scored 25 unanswered points straight after the break.

The Scarlets dominated the early exchanges but it took them until 18 minutes to open a 7-0 lead.

Wales scrum-half Dwayne Peel crafted the score with a kick ahead which evaded the outstretched hands of Kevin Morgan, allowing Ceiron Thomas to follow up his own kick to beat Aled Brew to the touchdown.

From a scrum the Dragons earned their first points - a 32nd-minute penalty for Ceri Sweeney.

That was cancelled out by a penalty for Thomas three minutes later and there were more problems for the Gwent region when replacement hooker Richard Wilkes was sin-binned for a blatant piece of ball-killing.

But despite being down a man Sweeney cut the Scarlets' half-time lead to 10-6 with an injury-time penalty.

Less than two minutes after the break the Dragons were down to 13 men with Brew seeing yellow from referee Phil Fear for slowing ball in front of his posts.

Instead of going for the three points the Scarlets gambled on a scrum but the search for the try line proved in vain.

It was when Wilkes returned to the pitch that the Scarlets began racking up the points.

A second Thomas penalty goal was sandwiched between two fine Scarlets tries. First Barry Davies outstripped Morgan to the line and skipper James Bater showed an impressive turn of pace to successfully chase his own kick ahead.

And the search for a bonus point did not take long with Wales wing Mark Jones breezing over in the left corner on 62 minutes for the fourth score.

The Scarlets had not finished there with replacement wing Dafydd James claiming the fifth try before Morgan grabbed a consolation eight minutes from time.

Although the Scarlets remain in mid-table they are still in the Magners League title mix with five of their remaining six matches at Stradey Park where they have now not lost for 14 months.

The scorers:

For the Scarlets:
Tries: Thomas, Davies, Bater, Jones, James
Cons: Thomas 2
Pens: Thomas 2

For the Dragons:
Try: Morgan
Pens: Sweeney 2

Yellow cards: Wilkes (37, Dragons), Brew (42, Dragons)

Scarlets: 15 Barry Davies, 14 Mark Jones, 13 Regan King, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Darren Daniel, 10 Ceiron Thomas, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 Nathan Thomas, 7 Gavin Thomas, 6 James Bater (c), 5 Scott Macleod, 4 Inoke Afeaki, 3 Deacon Manu, 2 Aled Gravelle, 1 Iestyn Thomas.
Replacements: 16 John Davies, 17 Matthew Rees, 18 Jonathan Mills, 19 Adam Jones, 20 Liam Davies, 21 Dafydd James, 22 Morgan Stoddart.

Dragons: 15 Kevin Morgan (c), 14 Gareth Wyatt, 13 Paul Emerick, 12 Phil Dollman, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Ceri Sweeney, 9 Gareth Cooper, 8 Michael Owen, 7 Jamie Ringer, 6 Colin Charvis, 5 Peter Sidoli, 4 Luke Charteris, 3 Lee Harrison, 2 Ben Daly, 1 Adam Black.
Replacements: 16 Richard Wilkes, 17 Jamie Corsi, 18 Andrew Hall, 19 Nic Fitisemanu, 20 Gareth Maule, 21 Aled Thomas.

Referee: Phil Fear (Wales)
Touch Judges: James Jones (Wales), Richard Hughes (Wales)