Planet Rugby

No fireworks at Liberty Stadium

05th November 2011 20:36

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Stephen Jones Scarlets

Late penalty: Stephen Jones

Scarlets fly-half Stephen Jones kicked a penalty two minutes from full-time to salvage a 9-9 draw with Ospreys on Saturday.

A late Jones penalty gave Scarlets a share of the spoils in a tight and tense Welsh derby, in what became a battle of the kickers at the Liberty Stadium.

In a low scoring contest, the home side led until the dying moments of the game, before Jones kept his cool to keep the visitor's recent unbeaten run going with a late placed kick.

The game was very stop-start for the opening quarter of the game. Both sides were cancelling each other out, as neither side looked like making any real breakthroughs early on.

The match did begin to come alive for the remainder of the first period though. Stephen Jones, returning to the Scarlets starting team, was deemed to have spear-tackled an Ospreys man, and he was sent to the sin-bin.

Dan Biggar scored the resulting penalty, the game was now up and running.

The home side had the opportunity to push on from there to make their numerical advantage pay, but they were themselves reduced to fourteen men soon after for hands in the ruck, as the match became a little heated.

The opening period fizzled out to a close, with the crowd hoping for a much livelier second half.

That wasn't to be the case though, as both sides continued to find answers to each other's attacking threat. Stephen Jones levelled the scoring soon after the restart with a penalty, before Dan Biggar hit back for the Ospreys with two quick-fire penalties of his own.

Hard hits were coming in from both teams, but neither could make any pressure tell on the scoreboard, with the game seemingly meandering to a quiet conclusion.

However, with two minutes of normal time remaining, a Stephen Jones penalty for Scarlets earned them a draw, with the Ospreys missing out on their chance to go top of the RaboDirect Pro 12 table.

The scorers:

For Ospreys:
Pens: Biggar 3

For Scarlets:
Pens: Jones 3

Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Andrew Bishop, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Kahn Fotuali'I, 8 Jonathan Thomas, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Joe Bearman, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Alun Wyn Jones (capt), 3 Cai Griffiths, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Duncan Jones.
Replacements: 16 Huw Bennett, 17 Ryan Bevington, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 Ryan Jones, 20 Tom Smith, 21 George Stowers, 22 Rhys Webb, 23 Shane Williams.

Scarlets: 15 Daniel Evans, 14 Liam Williams, 13 Adam Warren, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Stephen Jones, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Rob McCusker, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Dominic Day, 3 Rhys Thomas, 2 Matthew Rees (capt), 1 Iestyn Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Phil John, 18 Rhodri Jones, 19 Sione Timani, 20 Richie Pugh, 21 Rhodri Williams, 22 Jon Davies, 23 George North.

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