Sun 24 Feb 2019 | 05:59

Scarlets blitz Cheetahs

Scarlets blitz Cheetahs
Sun 24 Feb 2019 | 05:59
Scarlets blitz Cheetahs

PRO14 REPORT: Scarlets produced an incisive opening salvo as they beat the Cheetahs 43-21 to continue their play-off push.

The hosts crashed in four tries in the first 20 minutes of the match, as they took control early in the Round 16 encounter at Parc Y Scarlets.

Fullback Leigh Halfpenny had 11 points off the kicking tee, with five successful attempts from six, as he made his first appearance in more than three months following a spell out with concussion.

Uzair Cassiem gave the hosts a perfect start inside three minutes as he scored against his former side.

The Scarlets No.8 produced a pick-up off his toes to make the most of Werner Kruger’s offload from the floor to run in under the posts.

Johnny McNicholl grabbed the second for Wayne Pivac’s men as he made the most when the ball went wide to the right wing.

It was a third try just minutes later as Dan Jones’ grubber kick, off the back of a solid scrum for the hosts, was gathered by Kieron Fonotia to dive over under the posts.

Blindside flanker Josh Macleod secured the bonus point inside the opening quarter as he made the most of scrum-half Kieran Hardy’s searing break before the back-rower picked up metres short of the line to crash over.

The South African side came into the game late in the opening period, but Rabs Maxwane knocked on as he attempted to dart for the line from five metres out.

Minutes later Bernhard Janse van Rensburg did get a first try for the visitors, as he ran a sharp line to break the defensive line and reach out to score.

Just before half-time, there was a second with Maxwane touching down after an astonishing break down the left wing.

Junior Pokomela broke from inside his own half before his offload was kicked through by Abongile Nonkontwana with the outside of his heel to release the winger, who dabbed down for his 12th try in the competition.

Scarlets added another just after half-time through Wyn Jones, the replacement post driving over from close quarters, making it 35-14.

But Gerhardus Olivier struck back for the Cheetahs, as Tian Schoeman’s break and offload released the No.8 to touch down.

Halfpenny added a penalty to extend the Scarlets advantage, before centre Paul Asquith made the most of an error in the Cheetahs backline.

McNicholl grabbed a wayward pass before offloading to his teammate who ran in from 15 metres out to make it 43-21, with what would prove to be the final score.

The scorers:

For Scarlets:
Tries: Cassiem, McNicholl, Fonotia, Macleod, Jones, Asquith
Cons: Jones, Halfpenny 4
Pen: Halfpenny

For the Cheetahs:
Tries: Janse van Rensburg, Maxwane, Olivier
Cons: Schoeman 3

Yellow card: Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets, 22)


Scarlets: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Paul Asquith, 11 Ioan Nicholas, 10 Dan Jones, 9 Kieran Hardy, 8 Uzair Cassiem, 7 Dan Davis, 6 Josh Macleod, 5 Josh Helps, 4 Jake Ball (captain), 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Wyn Jones
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Phil Price, 18 Javan Sebastian, 19 Lewis Rawlins, 20 Tom Phillips, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Rhys Patchell, 23 Steff Hughes

Cheetahs: 15 Louis Fouche, 14 William Small-Smith, 13 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 12 Dries Swanepoel, 11 Rabz Maxwane, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Shaun Venter (captain), 8 Gerhard Olivier, 7 Junior Pokomela, 6 Abongile Nonkontwana, 5 JP du Preez, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Marnus van der Merwe, 1 Ox Nche
Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Reinach Venter, 18 Luan de Bruin, 19 Sintu Manjezi, 20 Jasper Wiese, 21 Henco Venter, 22 Rudy Paige, 23 Tian Meyer

Referee: Johnny Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Adam Jones, Chris Busby (Ireland)
TMO: Jon Mason (Wales)

Source: @PRO14Official

PV: 163

Scarlets Blitz Cheetahs | Rugby365