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Davies double edge Scarlets past 14-man Cardiff

MATCH REPORT: Gareth Davies scored two of Scarlets’ five tries as they edged to a 29-23 bonus-point United Rugby Championship victory over 14-man Cardiff at the Arms Park.

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Tomos Williams and Cam Winnett crossed for tries for Cardiff and Tinus De Beer kicked three penalties and two conversions but they were hampered by the dismissal of Ellis Jenkins.

In addition to Davies’ two tries, Alex Craig, Steff Evans and Johnny McNicholl went over for Scarlets, with player of the match Ioan Lloyd kicking a pair of conversions.

The home side raced into a 14-0 lead inside the first 10 minutes when scrumhalf Tomos Williams and fullback Winnett breached Scarlets’ defence.

Cardiff made 25 metres from a driving maul off the back of a clean line-out win when Alex Mann broke clear off the back but was held up just short of the line before Tomos Williams dummied his way over and De Beer converted.

And it was the line-out again that was the basis for Cardiff’s second score as De Beer’s pass was scooped up by Winnett to go over.

But Scarlets hit back moments later as Johnny Williams broke through the Cardiff defensive line to set up Davies to go in under the posts.

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And Scarlets were soon over again as a penalty kicked to the corner bore fruit when second row Craig squirmed over following relentless forward pressure.

Cardiff were reduced to 14 men when Jenkins was shown a red card following a tip tackle on Dan Davis.

And Scarlets made them pay as McNicholl broke clear before setting up Davies to go in for his second try of the afternoon. Lloyd’s conversion made it 19-14 at the break.

De Beer closed the gap with a penalty early in the second half before another three-pointer put them ahead.

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But back came Scarlets and Evans went over in the corner for the bonus-point score before McNicholl went in in the opposite corner to stretch the advantage 10 minutes from time.

De Beer’s late penalty at least ensured Cardiff left with a losing bonus point.

Player of the Match

Cardiff’s opening try was a thing of beauty as after a clean line-out win their driving maul pushed Scarlets back 25 metres before flanker Mann peeled off the back but was brought down just short of line where scrum-half Tomos Williams picked the ball up and dummied his way over for a superb try.

Play of the Match

Scarlets flyhalf Lloyd superbly marshalled his team and his composure and inventive running – he led his team with six defenders beaten – helped the region claim the derby bragging rights and secure a second victory of the season.

The scorers

For Cardiff
Tries: Williams, Winnett
Cons: De Beer 2
Pens: De Beer 3

For Scarlets
Tries: Davies 2, Craig, Evans, McNicholl
Cons: Lloyd 2

Red card: Ellis Jenkins (Cardiff,

Teams:

Cardiff: 15 Cam Winnett, 14 Josh Adams, 13 Rey Lee-Lo, 12 Willis Halaholo, 11 Mason Grady, 10 Tinus de Beer, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 Mackenzie Martin, 7 Ellis Jenkins, 6 Alex Mann, 5 Teddy Williams, 4 Seb Davies, 3 Keiron Assiratti, 2 Liam Belcher (captain), 1 Corey Domachowski.
Replacements: 16 Evan Lloyd, 17 Rhys Carré, 18 Rhys Litterick, 19 Shane Lewis-Hughes, 20 Josh Turnbull, 21 Ellis Bevan, 22 Jacob Beetham, 23 Gabriel Hamer-Webb.

Scarlets: 15 Johnny McNicholl, 14 Tom Rogers, 13 Johnny Williams, 12 Eddie James, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Ioan Lloyd, 9 Gareth Davies (captain), 8 Carwyn Tuipulotu, 7 Dan Davis, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Jac Price, 4 Alex Craig, 3 Harri O’Connor, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Wyn Jones.
Replacements: 16 Shaun Evans, 17 Steff Thomas, 18 Joe Jones, 19 Morgan Jones, 20 Teddy Leatherbarrow, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Charlie Titcombe, 23 Ioan Nicholas.

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
Assistant referees: Rhys Jones (Wales), Gwyn Morris (Wales)
TMO: Wayne Davies (Wales)

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