Planet Rugby

Scarlets punish Perpignan

09th October 2010 17:22

Share:

Jean-Philippe Grandclaude perpignan

Poor start: USAP beaten

The Scarlets got off to the perfect start to their Heineken Cup campaign thanks to a comprehensive 43-34 victory against French giants Perpignan on Saturday.

Fly-half Stephen Jones bagged a personal haul of 28 points as the Scarlets opened their Pool Five account with a bonus-point win in a nine-try thriller at Parc y Scarlets.

The hosts were outscored by five tries to four in an enthralling and open contest but Jones' five penalties, four conversions and second-half try proved crucial.

Two tries from full-back Rhys Priestland late in the opening stanza plus 16 points from Jones put the hosts 26-15 up at the break. Jean-Philippe Grandclaude and Julien Candelon went over for the French side with Jerome Porical landing a conversion and a penalty.

Scarlets wrapped up a bonus point as Regan King and Jones went over to complete a spell where the hosts racked up four tries in a total of 16 minutes either side of the break. Jones then added another penalty before Adrien Plante and Ovidiu Tonita gave Perpignan a bonus point, with Damien Chouly also crossing in the dying moments.

The Scarlets made a vibrant start as scrum-half Martyn Roberts got his hand through the tackle to feed captain Matthew Rees, who in turn passed to flanker Rob McCusker as they burst into the Perpignan 22.

McCusker was hauled down but the French side's scramble defence cynically infringed to allow Jones to give his side a third-minute lead.

Perpignan hit back as Gavin Hume's grubber was gathered by Plante and moved on to Grandclaude, who touched down two phases later after a lovely miss pass from centre partner David Marty, although Porical made a mess of the conversion.

A 12th-minute penalty for offside allowed Jones to put the Scarlets back in front but the lead barely lasted three minutes before the Catalan side's second try arrived in controversial fashion.

Scrum-half Florian Cazenave stole the ball from an apparently offside position and launched a flowing counter-attack. Flanker Bertrand Guiry floated the ball out to wing Candelon, who grubbered past Priestland to dot down. Porical's conversion made it 12-6, although Jones replied with his third penalty before the end of the first quarter.

Perpignan were being dogged by ill-discipline, conceding a stream of needless penalties, and the Scarlets were level when Jones kicked his fourth penalty in the 28th minute after Porical had seen yellow for foolishly kicking Josh Turnbull, and Jones was off target moments later with another penalty attempt.

But the home side's first try finally came after a purposeful counter from Sean Lamont. Turnbull took the ball on and when it was moved wide Regan King put Priestland over for a score converted by Jones.

Porical returned but there was nothing the visitors could do to prevent the Scarlets producing an outstanding score.

Stoddart went racing into space and out-the-back-door passes from the winger and King saw Gareth Maule put Priestland in at the corner. Jones added the extras from out wide for a 26-12 lead.

Porical kicked a penalty to cut the gap on the stroke of half-time to end an exhilarating 40 minutes.

But the Scarlets effectively killed the game off with two tries within seven minutes of the resumption.

A mistake in the Perpignan midfield saw King hack ahead and when Candelon failed to gather the ball under pressure from Maule the Kiwi centre strolled over under the posts for a converted try.

Another then followed after some lovely inter-passing between backs and forwards saw skipper Rees send Jones in for his 50th try for Llanelli and the Scarlets to seal the bonus point. The fly-half dusted himself down to add the extras and establish an imposing 40-15 lead.

Perpignan enjoyed a decent period of pressure and were rewarded when Plante strode through a chasm in the home defence to cross, with Porical again on target with the conversion.

The Scarlets heaped more pressure on themselves as replacement Jonny Fa'amatuainu was sin-binned for an illegal hit on Plante, and his absence helped the French side rumble over for their own bonus-point try courtesy of replacement Tonita.

Chouly added their fifth try with time running out as the Catalan outfit finished by far the stronger side, and Porical then missed with a last-gasp long-range penalty which would have given his side a second bonus point.

The scorers:

For Scarlets:
Tries: Priestland 2, King, Jones
Cons: Jones 4
Pens: Jones 5

For Perpignan:
Tries: Grandclaude, Candelon, Plante, Tonita, Chouly
Cons: Porical 3
Pens: Porical

Scarlets: 15 Rhys Priestland, 14 Morgan Stoddart, 13 Gareth Maule, 12 Regan King, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Stephen Jones, 9 Martin Roberts, 8 David Lyons, 7 Josh Turnbull, 6 Rob McCusker, 5 Vernon Cooper, 4 Lou Reed, 3 Rhys Thomas, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Iestyn Thomas
Replacements:16 Ken Owens, 17 Phil John, 18 Deacon Manu, 19 Jonny Fa'amatuainu, 20 Jon Edwards, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Scott Williams, 23 Daniel Evans

Perpignan: 15 Jérôme Porical, 14 Adrien Plante, 13 David Marty, 12 Jean-Philippe Grandclaude, 11 Julien Candelon, 10 Gavin Hume, 9 Florian Cazenave, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Gerrie Britz, 6 Bertrand Guiry, 5 Robins Tchale Watchou, 4 Yoann Vivalda, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Charles Geli, 1 Perry Freshwater
Replacements: 16 Marius Tincu, 17 Jérôme Schuster, 18 Kisi Pulu, 19 Guillaume Vilaceca, 20 David Mele, 21 Joffrey Michel, 22 Manny Edmonds, 23 Ovidiu Tonita

Referee: Andrew Small

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Preview
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs ZebreMunster vs Zebre Preview
Cardiff Blues vs UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Preview
Connacht vs LeinsterConnacht vs Leinster Preview
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Preview
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs ToulonBrive vs Toulon Preview
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse14:45
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Oyonnax18:30
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:30
Montpellier vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs PumasLions vs Pumas Preview
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Friday , September 19
Counties Manukau vs CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Preview
Saturday , September 20
Hawkes Bay vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , September 18
Northland 20 - 31 TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Report
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26