Plucky 14-man Scarlets go down to Blues
PRO14 REPORT: Tomos Williams’ try midway through the second half helped Cardiff Blues earn a first victory under new boss Dai Young as they overcame 14-man Scarlets 29-20.
First half scores from Willis Halaholo and Rey Lee-Lo gave the hosts the lead in the Welsh capital, after Jonathan Davies gave Glenn Delaney’s side the advantage earlier in the game.
But a red card for Liam Williams minutes before the break was the game-changing moment, as the winger was given his marching orders for an unsafe entry into the ruck.
Sione Klamafoni gave the visitors the advantage in the second-half, but the Blues had just enough to seal the win over their compatriots, as Williams earned his side the points with a crafty score just after the hour mark.
It was the hosts who started the scoring at the Cardiff City Stadium, as Jarrod Evans slotted through a penalty, before Davies responded with the first try of the game 13 minutes in to put Scarlets into the ascendency.
The Welsh international was on hand to seal the deal for the visitors, as he latched onto a beautiful delayed pass from Dan Jones which caught the Blues’ defence off-guard.
But Scarlets couldn’t keep themselves ahead for long, as Evans then proved his quality with ball in hand, as his sidestep left the visiting defence bamboozled, before teeing up Halaholo to arrow over in the corner.
And five minutes before the break the lead was extended even further, as a scintillating Blues move saw Evans the protagonist once again.
The fly-half tore through the Scarlets defence before feeding Tomos Williams, who’s flick pass landed in the hands of Lee-Lo. The Samoan still had work to do before touching down, but managed to squeeze the ball down in the corner to make it 18-10 at the break.
Leigh Halfpenny’s penalty reduced the arrears to five points at the start of the second stanza, before Kalamafoni was given the time and space to bulldoze over and give the visitors a two-point advantage.
But just as they were starting to dream of a dramatic victory, the Blues put the pressure on and scored with their first real attack of the second half, as Williams snuck over on the blindside, before Evans added a late penalty to seal the win.
Tries: Halholo, Lee-Lo, Williams
Penalties: Evans 4
Yellow Card: Rhys Carré 61′
Tries: Davies, Kalamfoni
Cons: Halfpenny 2
Penalties: Jones, Halfpenny
Yellow Card: Davies 23′
Red Card: Liam Williams 37′
Cardiff Blues: 15 Matthew Morgan, 14 Josh Adams, 13 Rey Lee-Lo, 12 Willis Halaholo, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Jarrod Evans, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 Josh Turnbull, 7 James Botham, 6 Shane Lewis-Hughes, 5 Cory Hill (captain), 4 James Ratti, 3 Dmitri Arhip, 2 Liam Belcher, 1 Corey Domachowski.
Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Rhys Carré, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Seb Davies, 20 Alun Lawrence, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 Ben Thomas, 23 Aled Summerhill.
Scarlets: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Liam Williams, 13 Jonathan Davies (captain), 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Dan Jones, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Sione Kalamafoni, 7 Josh Macleod, 6 Blade Thomson, 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Tevita Ratuva, 3 Pieter Scholtz, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Kemsley Mathias, 18 Javan Sebastian, 19 Josh Helps, 20 Ed Kennedy, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Sam Costelow, 23 Paul Asquith.
Referee: Craig Evans (WRU)
Assistant Referees: Ben Whitehouse, Mike English (both WRU)
TMO: Sean Brickell (WRU)
Source: PRO14 Rugby