Edinburgh spoil Cassiem's party
MATCH REPORT: Wales scrumhalf Kieran Hardy grabbed two tries but it wasn’t enough to secure victory as Edinburgh scored two converted tries in the last four minutes to earn a 28-28 draw in an entertaining finale to the season at Parc y Scarlets.
A crowd of just over 1 000 were present to see Scarlets fail to avenge their 6-3 home defeat at the hands of the Scots in the PRO14 regular season back in November.
It was the first time fans had been admitted at Parc y Scarlets since the Southern Kings fixture in February 2020.
Tom Rogers and Dafydd Hughes also scored a tries for Scarlets with Dan Jones and Sam Costelow both converting two.
Marshall Sykes, Jamie Ritchie, Jack Blain and Boan Venter scored Edinburgh’s tries with Blair Kinghorn and Nathan Chamberlain converting two apiece.
Scarlets had the first chance for points but turned down a kickable penalty in favour of an attacking line-out and they were rewarded with the opening try.
From the line-out they moved the ball wide for Rogers to send Hardy over with an inside pass with a conversion from Jones giving his side a 7-0 lead at the end of an enterprising and evenly-contested opening quarter.
However, Edinburgh looked the more potent attackers with centres James Johnstone and Cameron Hutchison regularly testing the home defence and on a couple of occasions the Scots were only denied by the lack of accuracy with their final pass.
After 24 minutes they deservedly drew level when lock Sykes finished off a succession of forward drives but within five minutes Scarlets were back in front.
From just inside the opposition half, Hardy took a quick tap penalty to dart away before sending Rogers on a 30-metre run to the line with a conversion from Jones giving Scarlets a 14-7 half-time advantage.
Four minutes after the restart, the hosts introduced Wales international prop Samson Lee for his first game since December.
Lee replaced Pieter Scholtz who along with centre Tyler Morgan and No.8 Uzair Cassiem were making their final appearances for Scarlets.
The home side suffered a blow when lock Morgan Jones was sin-binned for a dangerous clear-out on Edinburgh flank Connor Boyle and the Scots immediately capitalised when captain Ritchie crashed over from close range.
Scarlets returned to a full complement of 15 with no further damage to the scoreboard before their opponents lost a man to the bin when Blain took out Steff Evans in an aerial collision.
The hosts took full advantage with some neat handling to send Hardy over for his second before Hughes finished off a driving line-out and the game looked up for Edinburgh.
However, Blain returned from the bin to score before with the last play of the game, Venter forced his way over to earn Edinburgh a deserved draw.
Tries: Hardy 2, Rogers, Hughes
Cons: Jones 2, Costlelow 2
Tries: Sykes, Ritchie, Blain, Venter
Cons: Kinghorn 2, Chamberlain 2
Scarlets: 15 Tom Rogers, 14 Ryan Conbeer, 13 Tyler Morgan, 12 Steff Hughes, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Dan Jones, 9 Kieran Hardy, 8 Uzair Cassiem, 7 Jac Morgan, 6 Blade Thomson, 5 Morgan Jones, 4 Josh Helps, 3 Pieter Scholtz, 2 Ryan Elias (captain), 1 Steff Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Daf Hughes, 17 Rob Evans, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Danny Drake, 20 Iestyn Rees, 21 Will Homer, 22 Sam Costelow, 23 Joe Roberts.
Edinburgh: 15 Kyle Rowe, 14 Jack Blain, 13 James Johnstone, 12 Cammy Hutchison, 11 Eroni Sau, 10 Blair Kinghorn, 9 Henry Pyrgos, 8 Mesu Kunavula, 7 Connor Boyle, 6 Jamie Ritchie (captain), 5 Jamie Hodgson, 4 Marshall Sykes, 3 Angus Williams, 2 Mike Willemse, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 David Cherry, 17 Boan Venter, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Ally Miller, 20 Luke Crosbie, 21 Charlie Shiel, 22 Nathan Chamberlain, 23 George Taylor.
Referee: Frank Murphy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Adam Jones, Aled Evans (both Wales)
TMO: Sean Brickell (Wales)