Scarlets do the job in Brive

23rd Jan 2010, 21:57

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Physical hit: Luciano Orquera

Physical hit: Luciano Orquera

The Scarlets recovered from a ten-point deficit to earn themselves a 20-17 victory over Brive at Stade Municipal on Saturday.

The Scarlets recovered from being ten points down to earn themselves a 20-17 Heineken Cup win over Brive at Stade Municipal on Saturday.

Stephen Jones booted 10 points, including a decisive 63rd-minute penalty, to steer the Welsh region towards further European rugby this season.

Jones sealed a fine double over Brive for the west Wales region, and they now cannot be denied a last-eight spot in the second-tier Challenge Cup.

Brive made seven changes for their final Heineken Cup tie of the season, including moving England hooker Steve Thompson to number eight.

But the home side went ahead in the 18th minute when Andy Goode kicked for the corner and, after securing decent line-out ball, hooker Jean-Philippe Bonrepaux burrowed over for the opening try.

Brive were in the ascendancy and it was no surprise when the hosts doubled
their advantage through Horacio Agulla.

The Argentina full-back, playing on the right wing in France, fended off Sean Lamont to crash over.

Jones scored a long-range penalty on 28 minutes before Damien Welch, making his debut in the Heineken Cup, crossed in the left corner.

Martin Roberts, Jonathan Davies and Andrew Fenby combined to find Welch in space to score.

Jones converted from the left touchline to tie the scores at 10-10 heading into the interval.

The Scarlets maintained their revival at the start of the second half and took the lead for the first time in the match.

Full-back Daniel Evans turned defence swiftly into attack with a blistering 50-metre run and his off-load found Davies, the Wales centre, who nudged the visitors further forward.

With extra numbers to his right-hand side, Jones used his nous and experience to spot Brive lock Retief Uys on the wing and capitalised with a perfectly-weighted grubber kick which the alert Stoddart raced onto and touched down.

Jones added the extras but the visitors pressed the self-destruct button in the 55th minute as flanker Josh Turnbull was deservedly sent to the sin-bin by referee Peter Fitzgibbon for foul play.

The home side surged forward and, within two minutes, took advantage of their numerical superiority with a third try.

Replacement scrum-half Shaun Perry fed Riki Flutey and the England centre's deft pass provided midfield partner Ronnie Cooke with the simplest of scores under the posts.

Luciano Orquera converted before Lou Reed became the second Scarlets player to be sent to the cooler.

But Jones had the final say with a long-range penalty to fittingly pass 800 points in the Heineken Cup and inflict a whitewash on Brive.

The scorers:

For Brive:
Tries: Bonrepaux, Agulla, Cooke
Con: Goode, Orquera

For Scarlets:
Tries: Welch, Stoddart
Con: Jones
Pen: Jones

Brive: 15 Scott Spedding, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Riki Flutey, 11 Régis Bianco, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Jean-Baptiste Pejoine, 8 Steve Thompson, 7 Fabien Domingo, 6 Alix Popham (capt), 5 Retief Uys, 4 Thibault Dubarry, 3 Petrisor Toderasc, 2 Jean-Philippe Bonrepaux, 1 Pablo Henn.
Replacements: 16 Guillaume Ribes, 17 Davit Kinchagishvili, 18 Christian Short, 19 Simon Azoulai, 20 Shaun Perry, 21 Luciano Orquera, 22 Alexis Palisson, 23 Pascal Idieder.

Scarlets: 15 Daniel Evans, 14 Morgan Stoddart, 13 Sean Lamont, 12 Jon Davies, 11 Andrew Fenby, 10 Stephen Jones, 9 Martin Roberts, 8 David Lyons, 7 Josh Turnbull, 6 Rob McCusker, 5 Dominic Day, 4 Damian Welch, 3 Deacon Manu, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Iestyn Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Phil John, 18 Rhys Thomas, 19 Lou Reed, 20 Jon Edwards, 21 Lee Williams, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Gareth Maule.

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Leo Colgan (Ireland), Barry O'Keeffe (Ireland)
Television match official: Tom Redmond (Ireland)