Planet Rugby

Scarlets hop above Edinburgh

08th March 2009 20:41

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Two first-half tries were enough for the Scarlets to seal a 13-6 victory over Edinburgh in a turgid Magners League affair at Parc y Scarlets.

But the home side, who were without their four Wales players Stephen Jones, Mark Jones, Matthew Rees and Dafydd Jones, should have made the win more convincing because their kickers - Rhys Priestland and Dan Evans - missed a total of sixteen points through six wayward place kicks.

It took until the last kick of the game for the Scarlets to have a successful kick at goal when Evans registered a penalty.

The downside to the Scarlets' win was that their talented full-back Morgan Stoddart was stretchered off with a serious looking knee injury.

Edinburgh, including six Scotland squad members, did earn a bonus point but never looked like scoring a try.

The Scarlets led 10-6 at half-time but that did not really reflect the home side's dominance.

They went into a 10-0 lead with unconverted tries for wing Evans and hooker Ken Owens.

The first score started with a counter-attack by scrum-half Martin Roberts, who has just signed a new three-year contract with the region, was taken on through an incisive run by Morgan Stoddart and finished off by Evans.

A second try looked on the cards when centre Jonathan Davies broke into the 22 but Gavin Evans knocked on attempting to pick up a pass from his fellow centre.

But the Scarlets did double their lead with a short-range effort for Owens after Roberts had gone close.

Opposing outside halves David Blair and Rhys Priestland missed penalties 20 and 29 minutes respectively.

But Edinburgh kept themselves in the contest with 39th and 44th minute penalties from Blair.

At the start of second half Priestland's bad run of form continued as he missed a penalty - his fourth wayward kick of the contest.

And his form seemed to rub off on the normally reliable Chris Paterson, a half-time replacement for Hugo Southwell. He missed a relatively easy 52nd-minute effort from just outside the 22.

The second half became a forgettable affair as both sides struggled to get a meaningful foothold in each others half.

Dan Evans took over the kicking duties from Priestland, but he completely fluffed a penalty effort from halfway, meaning that thirteen points has gone begging for the Scarlets from missed place kicks.

Evans eventually found his mark to ironic cheers from a very poor crowd, but the victory was tempered by Stoddart's injury.

The scorers:

For Scarlets:

Tries: Evans, Owens

Pen: Evans

For Edinburgh:

Pen: Blair 2

Scarlets: 15 Morgan Stoddart, 14 Darren Daniel, 13 Jon Davies, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Daniel Evans, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Martin Roberts, 8 David Lyons, 7 Simon Easterby (c), 6 Josh Turnbull, 5 Lou Reed, 4 Vernon Cooper, 3 Deacon Manu, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Phil John.

Replacements: 16 Iestyn Thomas, 17 Mahonri Schwalger, 18 Dominic Day, 19 Rob McCusker, 20 Nathan Thomas, 21 Gavin Cattle, 22 Gareth Morris.

Edinburgh: 15 Hugo Southwell, 14 Simon Webster, 13 Ben Cairns, 12 Nick De Luca, 11 Mark Robertson, 10 David Blair, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Allister Hogg (c), 7 Alan MacDonald, 6 Simon Cross, 5 Ben Gissing, 4 Scott MacLeod, 3 Ryan Grant, 2 Andrew Kelly, 1 Kyle Traynor.

Replacements: 16 Steve Lawrie, 17 Bruce McNeil, 18 Craig Hamilton, 19 Scott Newlands, 20 Ben Meyer, 21 Marc Teague, 22 Chris Paterson.

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)

Touch judges: Huw David (Wales), Wayne Davies (Wales)

Television match official: Huw Lewis (Wales)

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