Scarlets edge dour affair

11th Sep 2007, 23:25

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The Scarlets got their first Magners League win of the season with a hard fought 14-9 victory over local rivals the Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday.

The Scarlets got their first Magners League win of the season with a hard fought 14-9 victory over local rivals the Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday.

In a low scoring game, full of intensity, the Scarlets trailed 6-3 at the break, but managed to turn the scores around in the second half. Adam Eustace grabbed the game's only try early in the second half, with the remainder of the points coming from fly-half Ceiron Thomas.

Eustace crashed over five minutes into the second half, although it took the verdict of television match official Derek Bevan to award the try.

The night did not start well for the Ospreys, captain Brent Cockbain ruled out in the lead up to the game with illness, meaning man-of-the-match Filo Tiatia took the captain's armband.

The first half was full of errors and was only broken up by three penalties. The first came from Scarlets fly-half Ceiron Thomas, before his opposite number Shaun Connor bagged two of his own to send the Ospreys into the break with a narrow lead.

The second half saw the standards raised somewhat, although the game was still scrappy as both sides fought tooth and nail to avoid a second consecutive defeat at the start of the new season.

It was the Scarlets who mounted the most meaningful raids of the half, and despite some stout defence Eustace was eventually driven over. Thomas missed the conversion, but he made up for it with two late penalties to effectively seal the win.

The Ospreys were given a glimmer of hope when Darren Daniel was sin-binned for a horrendously late challenge on Lee Byrne, but they could not make their numerical advantage tell, despite having Gavin Henson back in their ranks for the dying moments.

The defeat means the Ospreys have suffered their worst ever start to a season and will be hoping to end that run next weekend when they travel to Ravenhill to take on Ulster.

The Scorers:

For Ospreys:
Pens: Connor 3
For Scarlets:

For the Scarlets:
Try: Eustace
Pens: C.Thomas 3

Yellow card: Darren Daniel (Scarlets, 71, dangerous tackle)

Ospreys: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 Stefan Terblanche, 13 Mark Taylor, 12 Andrew Bishop, 11 Jonathan Vaughton, 10 Shaun Connor, 9 Justin Marshall, 8 Filo Tiatia (c), 7 Ben Lewis, 6 Tom Smith, 5 Mike Powell, 4 Mike Collins, 3 Andrew Millward, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Barry Williams, 17 Cai Griffiths, 18 Daniel Lloyd Jones, 19 Richard Pugh, 20 Martin Roberts, 21 Gareth Owen, 22 Gavin Henson

Scarlets: 15 Morgan Stoddart, 14 Garan Evans, 13 Regan King, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Matthew Watkins, 10 Ceiron Thomas, 9 Gavin Cattle, 8 Nathan Thomas, 7 James Bater (c), 6 Dafydd Jones, 5 Adam Eustace, 4 Vernon Cooper, 3 Deacon Manu, 2 James Hayter, 1 Iestyn Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Bruce Douglas, 17 Ken Owens, 18 Lou Reed, 19 Jonathan Edwards, 20 Liam Davies, 21 Darren Daniel, 22 Jonathan Davies.

Referee: Tim Hayes (WRU)
Touch Judges: Nigel Whitehouse (WRU), Gwyn Morris (WRU)
Television Match Official: Derek Bevan (WRU)