Planet Rugby

Scarlets secure bonus win

28th September 2007 21:39

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Regan King

A regal performance from King rewarded with a try

The Scarlets produced an entertaining display as they registered their first home Magners League win of the season with a 34-11 bonus point triumph on Friday.

Phil Davies' side had gone down to the Dragons on the opening weekend of the season and had been concerned Connacht sensed a chance of victory.

But tries through Regan King, Vernon Cooper, Morgan Stoddart and Jonathan Davies and 14 points from the boot of outside-half Rhys Priestland confirmed victory for the Stradey Park side.

After a difficult opening when Connacht led 3-0 through a sixth-minute penalty from outside-half Tim Donnelly, it was almost all Scarlets for the rest of the first half.

At every opportunity the Scarlets attempted to keep the ball alive through slick inter-passing among backs and forwards.

And it worked to their advantage as outside-half Priestland, who missed a place kick on eight minutes, put the home side into the lead with penalties on 27 and 33 minutes.

But the Scarlets really stamped their authority on the contest with their first-half try. Priestland started the move with a midfield break before centre King was sent over on the right with a fine pass out of the tackle by full-back Stoddart.

Connacht suffered a setback as early as the 13th minute when they lost injured prop Robbie Morris.

And that helped the Scarlets start disrupting the Connacht scrum just before half-time, which the home side reached 13-3 up.

Just like the first half Connacht scored first after the break with a Donnelly penalty.

But with the Irishmen struggling to get regular a foothold in Scarlets' territory, coach Michael Bradley made four changes in personnel at once.

It failed to work, however, as lock Cooper went in down the left after a break by wing Matthew Watkins. Priestland converted to make it 20-6 to the home side after 55 minutes.

Just seven minutes later the strong-running Stoddart went over for the Scarlets' third try as they opened up a 27-6 advantage.

Connacht did register a consolation try through replacement hooker John Fogarty before Davies confirmed the bonus point with the fourth Scarlets touchdown.

The Scorers:

For Scarlets:

Tries: King, Cooper, Stoddart, L.Davies

Cons: Priestland 4

Pens: Priestland 2

For Connacht:

Try: Fogarty

Pens: Donnelly 2

The teams:

Scarlets: 15 Morgan Stoddart, 14 Garan Evans, 13 Regan King, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Matthew Watkins, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Gavin Cattle, 8 Nathan Thomas, 7 James Bater (c), 6 Dafydd Jones, 5 Adam Eustace, 4 Vernon Cooper, 3 Ben Broster, 2 James Hayter, 1 Phil John.

Replacements: 16 Iestyn Thomas, 17 Ken Owens, 18 Lou Reed, 19 Johnathan Edwards, 20 Deacon Manu, 21 Liam Davies, 22 Jon Davies.

Connacht: 15 Peter Durcan, 14 Ofisa Treviranus, 13 Mel Deane, 12 Aidan Wynne, 11 Darren Yapp, 10 Tim Donnelly, 9 Conor McPhillips, 8 Colm Rigney, 7 Johnny O'Connor, 6 Michael McCarthy, 5 David Gannon, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Robbie Morris, 2 Adrian Flavin, 1 Brett Wilkinson.

Replacements: 16 John Fogarty, 17 Ronan Loughney, 18 John Muldon, 19 Ray Ofisa, 20 Conor O'Loughlin, 21 Keith Matthews, 22 Daniel Riordan.

Venue: Stradey Park, Llanelli

Referee: Andy MacPherson

Touch judges: Tim Hayes, Ken Bowen

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