Scarlets hold off spirited Edinburgh

Date published: February 13 2016

Scarlets held off a late fightback from Edinburgh to run out 22-21 winners in the PRO12 on Friday, with the victory keeping them in the top four.

The first-half was fairly even, with Scarlets back-row Morgan Allen grabbing the only try of the half. Eight points from the combined boots of Steve Shingler and Aled Thomas took them ten points clear at the break, with Edinburgh's only points coming courtesy of a single Nathan Fowles penalty.

With both sides battling it out at the top end of the table, it was the hosts who broke the deadlock when Allen crossed the line unopposed.

A resurgent second-half performance from Edinburgh saw them score two tries through Cornell Du Preez and Alex Toolis. Two penalties from Fowles and a conversion from Greig Tonks also added to their score.

Three penalties from Thomas, including one in the final few minutes sealed the win for the Scarlets.

Shingler added the extras and kicked a penalty a few minutes later to give the his side an early ten point lead. Edinburgh grabbed their first points of the evening through a Fowles penalty after the Scarlets pack were penalised at the scrum.

With Shingler forced to leave the field, Thomas took over the kicking responsibilities. The replacement fly-half kicked his first penalty of the night to re-establish the Scarlets' ten-point advantage. Despite heavy pressure from the away side, the Scarlets defence held to maintain their lead going into half time.

It was Edinburgh who started the second-half brighter, with Fowles slotting his second kick of the night to bring the Scottish side back within one try. But, Thomas kicked a penalty of his own to keep the gap at ten points heading into the final half an hour.

With both sides holding out well defensively, it was another penalty from Thomas that would push Scarlets further into the ascendancy. 

However, Edinburgh were far from out if the game and they got their first try when Du Preez powered over from close range. A third penalty from Fowles brought Edinburgh to within five points with the Scottish side carrying the momentum into the last 15 minutes.

And they were level shortly after when replacement Toolis crossed the line after a brilliant pass from Du Preez. The conversion was scored by Tonks to give Edinburgh the lead. But, a final penalty from Thomas snatched victory away from the Scots.

The scorers:

For Scarlets:
Try: Allen
Con: Shingler
Pen: Shingler, Thomas 4

For Edinburgh:
Tries: Du Preez, Toolis
Con: Tonks
Pen: Fowles 2, Tonks

Scarlets: 15 Michael Collins, 14 Gareth Owen, 13 Regan King, 12 Hadleigh Parkes (c), 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Steven Shingler, 9 Rhodri Williams, 8 Morgan Allen, 7 Will Boyde, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 David Bulbring, 4 George Earle, 3 Peter Edwards, 2 Kirby Myhill, 1 Phil John
Replacements: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Dylan Evans, 18 Rhodri Jones, 19 Rory Pitman, 20 Steff Hughes, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Aled Thomas, 23 Steff Evans

Edinburgh: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Damien Hoyland, 13 Michael Allan, 12 Sam Beard, 11 Tom Brown, 10 Phil Burleigh, 9 Nathan Fowles, 8 Cornell Du Preez, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Mike Coman (c), 5 Ben Toolis, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 John Andress, 2 Neil Cochrane, 1 Rory Sutherland
Replacements: 16 George Turner, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Alex Toolis, 20 Jamie Ritchie, 21 Sean Kennedy, 22 Blair Kinghorn, 23 Dougie Fife

Referee: Andy Brace (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Leighton Hodges (Wales), Craig Evans (Wales)
TMO: Jon Mason (Wales)