Blues win at Parc y Scarlets

Date published: April 2 2016

Scarlets missed the chance to close the gap on Connacht at the PRO12 summit as they lost 28-22 to Cardiff Blues at Parc y Scarlets on Saturday.

The Blues were absolutely dominant in the first-half as Lloyd Williams and Tom James both ran home tries. Gareth Anscombe kept the scoreboard ticking over with two penalties.

But there was still a pulse in a Scarlets comeback as Dan Jones bagged three of his own, keeping the home side in the match at 9-18 going into half-time.

A try and a penalty from Anscombe kept Cardiff on top throughout the second-half. Penalties from Jones and Aled Thomas though saw the home side stay in the contest, and a late comeback momentarily looked on the cards when John Barclay scored a try in the last ten minutes.

But it was Cardiff's day as they went on to win the match 22-28.

Both teams where looking to continue last week's form when the Welsh sides welcomed back their internationals just in time to secure impressive wins in the race for the Champions Cup.

Anscombe got Cardiff off the mark when the visitors where awarded a penalty in front of the posts.

Minutes later the Blues carved their way back up the field again, eventually Williams found a gap and strolled through for the game's first try. Anscombe capped off a ruthless opening ten minutes for Cardiff Blues with the conversion.

Scarlets made it 6-10 with a couple of long range strikes from Jones.

Cardiff were running the Scarlets' defence ragged and James exploited their dominance with a try out on the wing. Anscombe couldn't quite manage the conversion from a tight angle.

The Blues were pinged at the scrum and Jones made it three from three, keeping the home side in the game at 9-15.

Jake Ball was penalised for going off his feet right in front of the posts and Anscombe got back on track with another three pointer, leaving the scores at 9-18 going into half-time.

Jones nabbed the first points of the second half as he continued his kicking form. Anscombe replied with three points of his own but that was quickly cancelled out by a shot at the posts from Thomas.

It took a while for the Blues to replicate their form in the first-half but with 20 minutes left on the clock a quick counter attack slipped Anscombe in for a terrific team try. The 24-year-old stroked home the conversion to seemingly secure the win at 15-28.

But the game was turned on its head with ten minutes left to play when Barclay drove his way over the line. Thomas scored the conversion to get Scarlets to within six.

Things went from bad to worse as Josh Turnbull was sent to the sin bin, but it was too little too late from Scarlets as Cardiff secured a vital win at Parc y Scarlets.

The scorers:

For Scarlets:
Try: Barclay
Con: Thomas
Pen: Jones 4, Thomas

For Cardiff Blues:
Tries: Williams, James, Anscombe
Con: Anscombe 2
Pen: Anscombe 3

Scarlets: 15 Michael Collins, 14 Steff Evans, 13 Regan King, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Dan Jones, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Morgan Allen, 7 James Davies, 6 John Barclay, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Ken Owens (c), 1 Rob Evans
Replacements: 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Dylan Evans, 18 Peter Edwards, 19 George Earle, 20 Maselino Paulino, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Aled Thomas, 23 Gareth Owen

Cardiff Blues: 15 Rhys Patchell, 14 Dan Fish, 13 Garyn Smith, 12 Rey Lee-Lo, 11 Tom James, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Josh Navidi, 7 Ellis Jenkins, 6 Sam Warburton, 5 James Down, 4 Josh Turnbull, 3 Taufa'ao Filise, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Gethin Jenkins (c)
Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Brad Thyer, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Jarrad Hoeata, 20 Manoa Vosawai, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Jarrod Evans, 23 Aled Summerhill

Referee: Marius Mitrea (FIR, 50th competition game)
Assistant Referees: Wayne Davies, Greg Morgan (both WRU)
TMO: Jon Mason (WRU)