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Scarlets slay Dragons

05th October 2012 21:34

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Morgan Stoddart

Morgan Stoddart: Winning return

Wales winger Morgan Stoddart marked his first game back from injury with a try in a 24-13 win for Scarlets against Dragons.

Stoddart had been out of the game for 15 months following the broken leg he suffered against England in the summer of 2011. But after being introduced to the fray at the start of the second half he only had to wait half an hour before celebrating a try on his return.

Following a penalty apiece from Steffan Jones and Aled Thomas, Scarlets scored the opening try of the night in controversial fashion.

A Thomas penalty kick from the right hand side appeared to go through the posts but, to the bemusement of the Dragons players, referee Nigel Owens ruled that the kick had narrowly missed the far upright and awarded a try instead once Gareth Maule - alert to the fact the ball was still 'live' - touched the loose ball down in the left hand corner.

Thomas converted and added two further penalties to hand the home side a 16-3 half-time lead.

After a drab, scoreless third quarter, played out in persistent rain, Dragons threatened a mini fightback.

Dan Evans' smart grubber kick on the left hand touchline appeared to be covered by a back-tracking Scott Williams, but the ball escaped from his grasp and Adam Hughes followed up smartly.

His score and the subsequent conversion closed the gap to just three points.

Jonathan Evans's sin-binning on 65 minutes stopped the Dragons' momentum and resulted in three more penalty points for the Scarlets from the boot of replacement Rhys Priestland.

After being brought down just short of the line a minute earlier, winger Stoddart made no mistake in finishing off another attack for what was the most popular score of the evening.

The scorers:

For Scarlets:
Tries: Maule, Stoddart
Con: Thomas
Pens: Priestland, Thomas 3

For Dragons:
Try: Hughes
Con: Prydie
Pens: S Jones, Prydie

Scarlets: 15 Liam Williams, 14 George North, 13 Gareth Maule, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Andy Fenby, 10 Aled Thomas, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Rob McCusker (capt), 7 Josh Turnbull, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Johan Snyman, 4 Sione Timani, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Shaun Hopkins, 18 Deacon Manu, 19 Richard Kelly, 20 Kieran Murphy, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Morgan Stoddart.

Dragons: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Adam Hughes, 13 Pat Leach, 12 Andy Tuilagi, 11 Tom Prydie, 10 Steffan Jones, 9 Jonathan Evans, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Lewis Evans (capt), 5 Adam Jones, 4 Ian Nimmo, 3 Dan Way, 2 Steve Jones, 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Gustafson, 17 Aaron Coundley, 18 Nathan Buck, 19 Jevon Groves, 20 Tom Brown, 21 Liam Davies, 22 Ashley Smith, 23 Will Harries.

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

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