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Scarlets end season on a high

MATCH REPORT: Scarlets ended a disappointing season in style with a convincing 32-15 bonus-point victory over fellow-struggles Dragons at the Cardiff City Stadium.

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It was the Scarlets’ fifth victory of the season with wing Tomi Lewis scoring two tries.

Kemsley Mathias and Dan Davis also crossed and Sam Costelow kicked two penalties and two conversions. Ioan Lloyd added a conversion.

Sio Tomkinson scored two tries and Will Reed kicked a penalty and a conversion as Dragons ended with only three league wins and just one point off the bottom spot.

After an error-ridden opening, Dragons took the lead with a penalty from Reed after Scarlets lock Sam Lousi was penalised for a no-arms tackle.

Costelow soon replied with one for Scarlets but the two penalty successes were the only scores of a very poor first quarter in which neither side remotely threatened the try-line.

Costelow then had a chance to put his side in front but fired wide with his 40-metre penalty attempt. However, it was the outside-half who made the first break of the game but Lewis was unable to take the pass as the try-line beckoned.

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Dragons struggled in the scrums to concede two penalties in that area and they were made to pay when Mathias finished off a line-our drive.

Costelow converted before Scarlets suffered a blow when their promising centre Eddie James was yellow-carded for a high challenge on Aneurin Owen, who departed after a failed HIA.

Costelow also left the field for an HIA but it was his side that extended the lead with an excellent try. From a scrum inside his half, Gareth Davies burst away to put the visitors’ defence on the back foot and when the ball was recycled Lewis ran strongly down the right flank to send Davis over.

Lloyd converted and Scarlets held a 17-3 interval lead.

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James and Costelow both returned for the second half and in time to see his side deal a hammer blow to Dragons’ chances.

Rio Dyer ran straight across the field and when tackled threw out a reckless pass which Lewis had no problem in intercepting to race away and score.

At last Dragons fired a shot when replacement Tomlinson finished off a decent round of passing and it was the precursor for them to have their best spell of the match.

Tomlinson rewarded a period of pressure to score his second but Costelow sealed victory with his second penalty.

Player of the Match
Lock Alex Craig has ended the season with some impressive performances. He was again at the forefront of a dominant pack with an all-action display to ensure Scarlets finished in front.

Play of the Match
Despite playing with only 14, Scarlets scored the decisive try just before the interval. Gareth Davies made the running and there were decent contributions from Ioan Lloyd and Tomi Lewis before Dan Davis crossed under the points for a vital seven points.

The scorers:

For Scarlets:
Tries: Mathias, Davis, Lewis 2
Cons: Costelow 2, Lloyd
Pens: Costelow 2

For Dragons:
Tries: Tomkinson 2

Con: Reed

Pen: Reed

Teams: 

Scarlets: 15 Ioan Nicholas, 14 Tomi Lewis, 13 Johnny Williams, 12 Eddie James, 11 Ryan Conbeer, 10 Sam Costelow, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Carwyn Tuipulotu, 7 Dan Davis, 6 Taine Plumtree, 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Alex Craig, 3 Harri O’Connor, 2 Ryan Elias (captain), 1 Kemsley Mathias
Replacements: 16 Shaun Evans, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Sam Wainwright, 19 Morgan Jones, 20 Jarrod Taylor, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Ioan Lloyd, 23 Macs Page

Dragons: 15 Ewan Rosser, 14 Rio Dyer, 13 Joe Westwood, 12 Aneurin Owen, 11 Chris Hollis, 10 Will Reed, 9 Rhodri Williams (captain), 8 Aaron Wainwright, 7 Taine Basham, 6 Ryan Woodman, 5 Matthew Screech, 4 Ben Carter, 3 Chris Coleman, 2 Brodie Coghlan, 1 Rhodri Jones
Replacements: 16 James Benjamin, 17 Rodrigo Martinez, 18 Dmitri Arhip, 19 George Nott, 20 Dan Lydiate, 21 Che Hope, 22 Steff Hughes, 23 Sio Tomkinson

Referee: Craig Evans (Wales)
Assistant referees: Rhys Jones (Wales) and Nathan James (Wales)
TMO: Keith David (Wales)

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