Evans shines as Scarlets down the Blues
PRO14 MATCH REPORT: Steff Evans sparkled as Scarlets ran in five tries to beat Cardiff Blues 32-12 as the PRO14 resumed in Wales.
Glenn Delaney’s coaching tenure began in some style, his new side running the show in this South Wales derby from the moment Ed Kennedy crossed after five minutes.
Blues were punished for inconsistency with and without the ball, consoled by a try for Josh Adams on his first start since undergoing surgery in February.
Delaney, promoted after Brad Mooar returned to New Zealand, promised an enterprising style from the off if the rain stayed away and that’s exactly what transpired.
The loss of Blade Thomson moments before kick-off, poised to feature for the first time since Boxing Day, was a blow but his replacement Kennedy set about making amends.
Evans jinked through the visiting defence and found debutant Johnny Williams in a promising move, before Kennedy bulldozed through two defenders on the left to dot down.
Leigh Halfpenny erred from the tee with the conversion and a penalty 15 minutes later, before Evans charged down a kick and hacked on to score his 47th try for the region.
John Mulvihill’s side bit back on the half-hour as hooker Kristian Dacey channelled his inner centre and offloaded superbly to set up Adams for an eye-catching score.
Halfpenny stroked over a penalty to make it 15-7 at the break.
The first 20 minutes of the second half saw Scarlets take charge, Evans kicking ahead to score a second before Cardiff went down to 14 with Josh Turnbull yellow-carded.
Two tries in eight minutes – the first from lock Sam Lousi for the bonus point and the second a sumptuous length of the field effort for Johnny McNicholl – made it 32-7.
On his long-awaited return, Matthew Morgan put smiles on Blues faces with a try in a losing cause.
Tries: Kennedy, Evans 2, Lousi, McNicholl
Cons: Halfpenny 2
For Cardiff Blues:
Tries: Adams, Morgan
Scarlets: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Steff Hughes (captain), 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Dan Jones, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Uzair Cassiem, 7 Josh Macleod, 6 Blade Thomson, 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Lewis Rawlins, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Wyn Jones.
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Phil Price, 18 Werner Kruger, 19, Jake Ball, 20 James Davies, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Angus O’Brien, 23 Paul Asquith.
Cardiff Blues: 15 Hallam Amos, 14 Josh Adams, 13 Harri Millard, 12 Ben Thomas, 11 Aled Summerhill, 10 Jarrod Evans, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 Will Boyde, 7 Olly Robinson, 6 Josh Turnbull (captain), 5 Rory Thornton, 4 Cory Hill, 3 Dillon Lewis, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Rhys Carré.
Replacements: 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Kieron Assiratti, 19 Seb Davies, 20 Shane Lewis-Hughes, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 Garyn Smith, 23 Matthew Morgan.
Referee: Nigel Owens
Assistant referees: Ben Whitehouse, Dan Jones
TMO: Wayne Davies
The heavens have opened, and so have the floodgates 🍾@scarlets_rugby go from one try line to the other in lightning speed with Johnny McNicholl finishing it off 🍾
— PRO14 RUGBY (@PRO14Official) August 22, 2020