Dwayne Peel got his first win as Scarlets coach in a comfortable bonus point victory over the Lions in Llanelli.
The Scarlets bounced back from defeat to Edinburgh on the opening weekend as a brace from Tom Rogers and further tries from Rob Evans and Steff Evans sealed maximum points against the South African outfit.
And while there were still some concerns – with more errors nearly allowing – Peel will undoubtedly be happy with the performance orchestrated by newly-instated fly-half Sam Costelow.
Just like last week, the Scarlets started quickly.
Within a minute, some slight of hands put the Lions on the back-foot and, from there, Evans forced his way over from close range.
The talented Jordan Hendrikse got the Lions on the board with a long-range penalty but it wouldn’t be long before the home side forged further ahead.
Midway through the half, neat hands from the Scarlets backline put Wales’ summer debutant Rogers over in the corner for the simplest of tries.
The rest of the half saw the west Walians remain largely in control, with the two talented young fly-halves – Costelow and Hendrikse – trading penalties.
In Scotland, it was the 20 minutes before half-time that undid the Scarlets. Here in Llanelli, it was the quarter following the break that Peel and his coaching ticket will be analysing in the next few days.
The Lions were one-dimensional in attack, but the Scarlets’ rising penalty count kept the pressure on themselves for the best part of 20 minutes.
Eventually, it paid as the Lions made it a one-score game as Ruben Schoeman burrowed over after a lengthy spell of direct carries.
The threat of a South African victory seemed very real at that point, but the boot of Costelow and then some trademark Scarlets swashbuckling rugby saw the west Walians pull away.
A flowing move nearly put Dane Blacker over for a try, but when the scrum-half was dragged down short, Rabz Maxwane couldn’t resist killing the ball under pressure and saw yellow for his sins.
Minutes later, a tap-and-go from Dan Jones in his own 22 saw the ball pass through several pairs of hands in a flowing move – with the end result being Jonathan Davies putting Rogers over for his second of the night.
And they wrapped things up as Evans raced away from a midfield scrum move to wrap up the bonus point in the final moments of the game.
Tries: R. Evans, T. Rogers (2), S. Evans; Cons: S. Costelow (2); Pens: S. Costelow (4)
Tries: R. Schoeman; Cons: J. Hendrikse; Pens: J. Hendrikse (2)
Scarlets: Johnny McNicholl; Tom Rogers, Jonathan Davies (capt), Scott Williams, Steff Evans; Sam Costelow, Kieran Hardy; Rob Evans, Ryan Elias, WillGriff John, Jac Price, Tom Price, Blade Thomson, Dan Davis, Sione Kalamafoni.
Replacements: Marc Jones, Phil Price, Samson Lee, Morgan Jones, Shaun Evans, Dane Blacker, Dan Jones, Ioan Nicholas.
Lions: EW Viljoen; Jamba Ulengo, Wandisile Simelane, Burger Odendaal (capt), Rabz Maxwane; Jordan Hendrikse, Andre Warner; Ruan Dreyer, Jaco Visagie, Carlu Sadie, Ruben Schoeman, Pieter Jansen Van Vuren, Jaco Kriel, Vincent Tshituka, Francke Horn.
Replacements: PJ Botha, Sti Sithole, Asenathi Ntlabakanye, Reinhard Nothnagel, Sibusiso Sangweni, Morne van den Berg, Eddie Fouch, Divan Rossouw.
Referee: Andrea Piardi (FIR)
See how the action unfolded below:
Source link : https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/scarlets-36-13-lions-report-21740312
Publish date : 2021-10-01 20:32:00