Planet Rugby

Scarlets defeat spirited Aironi

15th April 2012 16:04

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Ben Morgan

Scorer: Ben Morgan

The Scarlets closed in on the RaboDirect PRO12 play-off places after claiming a 26-23 victory over Aironi at Stadio Zaffanella on Sunday.

Neither side headed into this match in good form. Scarlets had been defeated narrowly by Brive and Edinburgh in recent weeks, while Aironi's poor season was showing no sign of improvements following heavy defeats to Glasgow and Ulster.

Points in the opening stages of the game came as the result of indiscipline from both teams. Two penalties from Rhys Priestland got the Welsh off the mark, but Aironi responded in kind thanks to goals from Luciano Orquera and Tito Tebaldi.

The first try of the match came just before the half-hour and was scored by Scarlets. Jonathan Edwards was the man to get over the line, and Priestland's conversion, followed by a third penalty goal of the afternoon gave the visitors a 16-6 half-time lead.

Scarlets deserved their lead, although Aironi at times were their own worst enemies as Orquera and Simone Favaro were both sent to the sin-bin following separate incidents.

But the hosts roared back in the second-half and gave Scarlets a major fright. Following the sin-binning of Josh Turnbull, Orquera booted Aironi to within seven points of their visitors and, when the influential fly-half converted a penalty try shortly after, the scores were level.

Scarlets were able to regain momentum, however, and they re-took the lead at the beginning of the second quarter courtesy of unconverted tries from Ben Morgan and Liam Williams.

The ten-point advantage proved to be enough for the visitors, but the concession of a late Giulio Toniolatti try meant the final scoreline was a little closer than many might have predicted before the match.

The scorers:

For Aironi:
Tries: Penalty, Toniolatti
Con: Orquera 2
Pen: Tebaldi, Orquera 2

For Scarlets:
Tries: Edwards, L Williams, Morgan
Con: Priestland
Pen: Priestland 3

Aironi: 15 Tito Tebaldi, 14 Giulio Toniolatti, 13 Gilberto Pavan, 12 Matteo Pratichetti, 11 Sinoti Sinoti; 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Tyson Keats, 8 Josh Sole, 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Nicola Cattina, 5 Marco Bortolami (c), 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Lorenzo Romano, 2 Fabio Ongaro, 1 Matias Aguero.
Replacements: 16 Tommaso D'Apice, 17 Alberto De Marchi, 18 Salvatore Perugini, 19 Joshua Furno, 20 Nick Williams, 21 Filippo Ferrarini, 22 Naas Olivier, 23 Giovanbattista Venditti.

Scarlets: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Sean Lamont, 13 Nick Reynolds, 12 Stephen Jones, 11 Andy Fenby, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Johnathan Edwards, 6 Josh Turnbull, 5 Dominic Day, 4 Aaron Shingler, 3 Rhodri Jones, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Peter Edwards, 18 Simon Gardiner, 19 Mat Gilbert, 20 Kieran Murphy, 21 Rhodri Williams, 22 Adam Warren, 23 Viliame Iongi.

Referee: John Lacey

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