Judgement Day Victory over Dragons
Scarlets endured a tough day at the office at the Principality Stadium with the Dragons taking a lead and holding their own for the first hour of the Judgement Day derby clash but the West Wales region hit back in the final twenty to secure the victory.
With twenty minutes left on the clock, and spurred on by a speedy break by centre Jonathan Davies, the Scarlets moved up a gear to score two tries and more importantly secure the victory.
Cardiff Blues and Munster victories earlier in the day meant that a win at the Principality Stadium would see the Scarlets move into third place above the Ospreys and keep Ulster at bay as the race for the top four gets very tense!
The game gets underway with a tense ten minutes as both teams are keen to get first points on the board.
It's the Dragons who draw first blood with a penalty for outside half Angus O'Brien. Just a minute later the Scarlets are penalised at the restart with O'Brien kicking a second penalty.
James Davies is replaced by Josh Macleod with 17 minutes on the clock and it's the Dragons who seem to have the upper hand in the opening quarter of the derby clash.
Dragons keep us pinned to our own half for much of the opening quarter and it's not until the 26th minute that we get our first points on the board through the boot of Dan Jones as their hooker is penalised for a no arms tackle on Jake Ball.
The Scarlets uncharacteristically allowed the Dragons to dictate the style and pace of play and found it difficult to make their mark on the first half. With only three penalties scored in the first half the Scarlets coaches will be hoping to fire up the players during the half time interval.
Half time: Dragons 6 Scarlets 3
Scarlets win the territorial battle early on in the second half making waves near Dragons' try line. We edge ever closer but are penalised for holding on just short of the line.
Dragons are awarded a scrum five but possession comes back Scarlets' way. The ball is worked through the hands with Scarlets putting some phases together. Dragons are penalised for coming off their feet at the ruck and Jones adds a much needed three points.
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As we reach the hour mark Scarlets show some of the determination and attacking flair that we've been used to over the last few rounds. Scott Williams and Jake Ball make it close and over the line but we recycle the ball with prop Rob Evans with a last pass out to Jonathan Davies who crosses for the first try of the afternoon. Liam Williams adds the conversion.
Minutes later Scarlets are penalised on our own 22 and Dragons take full advantage with a third penalty for O'Brien. Dan Jones is replaced by Hadleigh Parkes at outside half with Liam Williams taking on the kicking duties.
Scarlets hit back with a penalty of their own at 67 minutes with Liam Williams looking comfortable with a long-range kick from the ten metre line.
The Scarlets get a second try with wing sensation Williams showing his flair making a dash for the line. He steps up for the conversion attempt but it's not to be on this occasion. Dragons hit back with a last minute try ensuring a losing bonus point.
It was a final flourish for the Scarlets with the closing twenty minutes showing a glimpse of what the region's supporters have seen over the last few rounds. Pivac will be hoping that his side can get out of the starting blocks much sooner in the penultimate game of the season against Connacht in a few weeks time.
Final score: Dragons 16 Scarlets 21
Man of the Match: Ollie Griffiths