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Scarlets send Leeds packing

02nd November 2007 21:37

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Gravell tribute

A winning send-off: Scarlets fans pay tribute to Ray Gravell

Llanelli Scarlets produced a resounding bonus point 59-19 victory over Leeds to re-ignite their EDF Energy Cup hopes on an emotional Friday at Stradey Park.

The home side went over for eight converted tries - four of those before half-time, which they reached with a 31-7 advantage.

Before the match there was a minute's applause in memory of Ray Gravell, the Scarlets president who died suddenly on Wednesday aged 56.

The Llanelli players also had the name 'Grav' embroidered into their shirts and they wore black armbands as a mark of respect.

But the home team did not let emotion get in the way of a much-needed victory after their 18-11 defeat to Bristol last Sunday.

Within 17 minutes, the Scarlets had opened up a 21-0 lead with three converted tries through 18-year-old debutant full-back Dan Evans, flanker James Bater and Mark Jones.

Jones's try was a bizarre effort as he fooled everyone, even the referee Tony Spreadbury, as he ran in unopposed down the blindside with everyone thinking the ball was still in a ruck.

Stephen Jones, who converted the opening three tries, put over a penalty before Leeds hit back with a try through wing Tom Biggs.

In first-half injury time, Alix Popham sealed the bonus point with the fourth try following some neat inter-passing between the forwards.

Leeds gave themselves a lift four minutes into the second half when Biggs went over for his second try, touching down his own kick ahead.

But the Scarlets cancelled that out when prop Iestyn Thomas crashed over in the corner, put over by his hooker Rees as the Scarlets led 38-12 on 51 minutes.

Two more forwards - Scott MacLeod and Simon Easterby - got in the act with tries as the Scarlets went past 50 in impressive fashion.

Dan Evans went over for a second try which saw Stephen Jones take his points tally to 19 before John Hepworth grabbed a late consolation for Leeds, who have now conceded 40 tries in eight games.

Wing Mark Jones thought he had had another try right at the death only for the TMO to disallow it.

The scorers:

For the Scarlets:

Tries: Daniel Evans 2, Bater, Mark Jones, Popham, Thomas, MacLeod, Easterby

Cons: Stephen Jones 8

Pen: Stephen Jones

For Leeds:

Tries: Biggs 2, Hepworth

Cons: Di Bernado 2

Scarlets: 15 Daniel Evans, 14 Mark Jones, 13 Regan King, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Dafydd James, 10 Stephen Jones, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 Alix Popham, 7 James Bater, 6 Simon Easterby (c), 5 Scott MacLeod, 4 Vernon Cooper, 3 Bruce Douglas, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Iestyn Thomas

Replacements: 16 Deacon Manu, 17 James Hayter, 18 Adam Eustace, 19 Gavin Thomas, 20 Gavin Cattle, 21 Garan Evans, 22 Jon Davies

Leeds: 15 Jon Goodridge, 14 Appo Satala, 13 Jonny Hepworth, 12 Andy Tuilagi, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Alberto Di Bernardo, 9 Darren Edwards, 8 Mark Lock, 7 Martin Schusterman, 6 Danny Paul, 5 Pablo Bouza, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 Colin Noon, 2 James Parkes, 1 Fosi Pala'amo.

Replacement: 16 Tommy McGee, 17 Vili Ma'asi, 18 Erik Lund, 19 Sam Stitcher, 20 James Brookes, 21 John Holtby, 22 Leigh Hinton.

Referee: Tony Spreadbury (England)

Touch judges: Peter Huckle (England), Ashley Reay (England)

Television match official: Tony Rowlands (Wales)

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