Planet Rugby

Scarlets blanche at Glasgow fight

18th April 2008 22:07

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Glasgow Warriors snuffed out Llanelli Scarlets with a stunning comeback at Firhill, scoring two tries in the final minutes to take the Magners League match 25-23 on Friday.

Glasgow seemed to have blown their chances of racking up their third triumph on the trot when they leaked two tries just after the break.

But late efforts by Colin Gregor and Sam Pinder completed the salvage job that thrilled the home fans.

And the biggest cheer of all rang out when skipper Dan Parks joyfully thumped over the clinching conversion.

Glasgow had made a bright start, forcing the Scarlets back into their danger zone.

But the nerves of Parks shone through when he missed a simple penalty chance following an illegal challenge on Gregor.

Scarlets had a quick chance to make the most of the reprieve, but Stephen Jones suffered the same fate as Parks with his first attempt at goal.

The veteran Wales and Lions scrum-half made instant amends by finding his range to put the visitors in front after Glasgow crept offside in defence.

Warriors responded positively to set up a series of attacks and Parks burst back into the limelight in spectacular fashion.

He combined cleverly with Graeme Morrison before ploughing over the line for an opportunist try.

And he followed up with the pinpoint conversion to give the Warriors some real impetus.

They kept up the pressure and a surge featuring back-row pair Johnnie Beattie and Kelly Brown paved the way for Parks to bang over an angled penalty and stretch the lead.

Llanelli narrowed the gap with another Jones strike when John Barclay was ruled offside in the aftermath of a ruck.

And the penalty duel continued as Parks was bang on target again seconds before the break following hands in the ruck by the Welshmen.

There was still time for controversy as home winger Thom Evans was crudely body-checked as he chased his own chip.

To the disgust of the fans, English referee Dave Wilkinson waved play-on and the chance was lost.

There was another blow for Glasgow immediately after the restart as Morgan Stoddart snapped up a try - capitalising on weak fringe marking.

And Jones stepped up to add the extras, setting up a tense second half.

Even worse was to come for the Warriors when the clinical Stoddart completed his quickfire double - with Jones making it a seven-pointer at a crucial stage.

Jones then fired over a penalty to create a gap of 10 points, leaving the Warriors with a mountain to climb.

Gregor eased their plight with a sniping try, but Parks miscued the conversion.

However, he made ample amends by goaling Pinder's last-gasp effort.

The scorers:

For Glasgow:

Tries: Parks, Gregor, Pinder

Cons: Parks 2

Pens: Parks 2

For the Scarlets:

Tries: Stoddart 2

Cons: Stephen Jones 2

Pens: Stephen Jones 3

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Bernardo Stortoni, 14 Max Evans, 13 Graeme Morrison, 12 Daryl Gibson, 11 Thom Evans, 10 Dan Parks (c), 9 Colin Gregor, 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 John Barclay, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Dan Turner, 4 Opeta Palepoi, 3 Moray Low, 2 Fergus Thomson, 1 Justin Va'a.

Replacements: 16 Dougie Hall, 17 Andy Newman, 18 Kevin Tkachuk, 19 James Eddie, 20 Sam Pinder, 21 Andrew Henderson, 22 Lome Fa'atau.

Scarlets: 15 Morgan Stoddart, 14 Darren Daniel, 13 Regan King, 12 Matthew Watkins, 11 Nathan Brew, 10 Stephen Jones, 9 Gavin Cattle, 8 Nathan Thomas, 7 James Bater, 6 Simon Easterby (c), 5 Vernon Cooper, 4 Scott MacLeod, 3 Ben Broster, 2 Mahonri Schwalger, 1 Iestyn Thomas.

Replacements: 16 Bruce Douglas, 17 Matthew Rees, 18 Lou Reed, 19 Dafydd Jones, 20 Alix Popham, 21 Liam Davies, 22 Rhys Priestland.

Referee: David Wilkinson (Ireland)

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