Planet Rugby

Scarlets edge Adams Park cliffhanger

30th January 2010 19:52

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Tom Varndell wasps LVCUP

Two tries from Tom Varndell weren't enough for Wasps

Six penalties from Rhys Priestland were enough to see Scarlets to a 18-13 win over Wasps at Adams Park in the LV=Cup on Saturday

The fly-half landed all-but one of his attempts at goal to help the Magners League side secure a third straight success in the Anglo-Welsh event.

Wasps managed the only two tries of the game through Tom Varndell but a poor kicking display from Dave Walder cost them dear in the final reckoning.

The fly-half landed just one of his five efforts at the posts, including two penalty attempts in a second half that the hosts completely dominated.

Priestland had no such problems with his accuracy, his four first-half penalties putting the visitors, who had Wales hooker Matthew Rees starting in an otherwise young line-up, 12-10 ahead at the break.

Not until they were 9-0 down did Wasps begin to play, with the centre pairing Steve Kefu and Ben Jacobs causing plenty of problems.

It was a Kefu break that led to Varndell's first of the night, the winger showing his blistering pace when he scooted over untouched down the left wing.

Walder was unable to add the conversion from out wide, though, and Priestland soon showed him how it should be done by knocking over a penalty from tight to the right touchline.

Wasps closed the gap down to two points at the break thanks to a second for Varndell, who this time popped up on the right to score.

The former Leicester Tiger, who at time hobbled around due to an ankle injury, created himself enough space to hold off Scarlets full-back Daniel Evans and plant the ball down over the line.

The scores would have been level at the interval had Walder converted, and the number ten continued to have his problems off the tee in the second half.

He did manage to slot over a 49th minute penalty, though, giving Wasps the lead for the first time. It would also be the last.

Straight from the re-start Scarlets won a penalty to give Priestland the chance to push them back into a lead they defended superbly under pressure.

Twice the normally reliable Walder could have put the Guinness Premiership team into the lead again - only to miss with a pair of long-range strikes, the second of which had to reviewed by the television official to see if it had gone over the top of the left upright.

Perhaps fittingly it was Priestland who had the final say, his sixth penalty from right in front pushing the Scarlets five points clear with two minutes remaining.

The scorers:

For Wasps:
Tries:
Varndell 2
Pen:Walder

For Scarlets:
Pens:Priestland 6

Wasps: 15 Mark Van Gisbergen, 14 Tom Varndell, 13 Ben Jacobs, 12 Steve Kefu, 11 David Lemi, 10 Dave Walder , 9 Warren Fury, 8 John Hart (c), 7 Will Matthews, 6 Joe Worsley, 5 Dan Leo, 4 Marty Veale, 3 Ben Broster, 2 Joe Ward, 1 Sakaria Taulafo.
Replacements:16 Tom Lindsay, 17 Gabriel Bocca, 18 Bob Baker, 19 Hugo Ellis, 20 Mark Odejobi, 21 James Honeyben, 22 Lachlan Mitchell, 23 Lee Smith.

Scarlets: 15 Daniel Evans, 14 Lee Williams, 13 Gareth Maule, 12 Rob Higgitt (captain), 11 Andy Fenby, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Josh Turnbull, 7Johnathan Edwards, 6 Rob McCusker, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Lou Reed, 3 Deacon Manu, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Iestyn Thomas, 17 Emyr Phillips, 18 Rhys Thomas, 19 Vernon Cooper, 20 Richie Pugh, 21 Daniel Newton, 22 Regan King 23 Joe Ajuwa.

Venue: Adams Parks
Referee: Dean Richards (England)
Assistant referees: Chris White (England), Ken Stewart (England)
Television match official: Geoff Warren (England), Roy Marfleet

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