SCARLETS ran in eight tries on Saturday (Sept 29) as they beat Southern Kings 54-14 in round five of the Guinness Pro14.
Centre Jonathan Davies made his first competitive appearance in nearly a year and he went on to put in a man of the match performance, leading from the front with two tries.
With nine minutes on the clock Scarlets went on the attack and Rhys Patchell spotted a gap in Kings’ defence in midfield to loop a pass back out to the left to Asquith who attacked the line before getting the ball back to Jonathan Davies who went over for the try. Patchell added the conversion.
Five minutes later the Scarlets went back on the attack and a line out throw from Ryan Elias was won safely and the ball moved inside. Captain Davies is there in support once again, Hidalgo-Clyne gets out to Asquith and he fends off a second row on the way to the try line. The conversion was added by Patchell for a 14-0 lead following an excellent start.
The Kings looked to get themselves back in the game and from a line out they worked the ball to winger Bjorn Basson in the far corner who touched down. The conversion was added by fullback Masixole Banda.
The action was end-to-end and the Scarlets soon added their third try and a neat pass from a scrum found Jonathan Davies who had enough time to get himself under the posts for his second try. Patchell then added the extras.
The first half try scoring wasn’t finished there as the Kings pulled another one back when Basson touched down for his second try before Banda added the extras.
With the score 21-14 at half time the Kings were very much in the game but the Scarlets had other ideas as they came out for the second half.
Davies got the Scarlets going with a surging run before passing to Ioan Nicholas who was able to touch the ball down despite being tackled and Patchell made no mistake once again.
They went in search of another try but the Kings were able to win the ball back and went on the attack themselves before a chipped passed went out of play.
Scarlets again came forward but play was brought back for a penalty and Patchell sent a kick into the corner. From the line out the men in Red drove over with Dan Davies claiming the try and Patchell kept up his 100% record with the conversion to make it 35-14.
Wayne Pivac then made several changes with Steff Evans, Uzair Cassiem, Marc Jones and Simon Gardiner, Angus O’Brien and Tom Price on for Johnny McNicholl, Blade Thomson, Ryan Elias, Werner Kruger, Rhys Patchell and Jake Ball.
O’Brien was straight into the action as he took the home side to the corner and from the line out the ball was played to Simon Gardiner who ran through the Kings defence like a battering ram to score Scarlets’ sixth try. O’Brien took over kicking duties but missed the conversion.
Time was running out but the Scarlets again came forward and this time it was Steff Evans, who has played for the Scarlets A in the Celtic Cup in the last three weeks, who went over for another excellent try. O’Brien then added the extras.
There was still time for one more score and it was replacement scrum half Kieran Hardy who got the score for his side as the clock hit 80 with O’Brien once again adding the conversion.
It was an excellent 54-14 win for the Scarlets who showed plenty of attacking flair which will see them go into Saturday’s (Oct 6) clash with rivals Ospreys in a confident mood.