Scarlets 47-13 Dragons: Seven-try victory for Wayne Pivac's Conference B leaders
By Michael Cantillon
Last Updated: 05/01/18 9:32pm
Scarlets recorded their third PRO14 derby victory on the spin on Friday as they comprehensively dispatched an inexperienced and error-strewn Dragons side 47-13 side at the Parc y Scarlets.
James Davies, Tom Prydie, Dan Jones, Aled Davies, Aaron Shingler, Will Boyde and Rhys Jones all crossed for tries against a Dragons side whose lineout and scrum malfunctioned badly all evening.
The bonus-point win consolidates Scarlets' position at the top of Conference B heading into a fortnight of European Cup rugby.
The Dragons travel to face Bordeaux-Begles in the Challenge Cup next Saturday, while the Scarlets visit Bath in the Champions Cup next Friday.
Despite the Scarlets enjoying all the early possession, it was the Dragons who hit the front on 13 minutes when fly-half Arwel Robson hit a fabulous penalty over from all of 48 metres after Scarlets flanker Shingler had been pinged for offside.
The home side responded just four minutes later with a try through Davies at the back of a driving maul, after Dan Jones had kicked to the corner following a scrum penalty won against the head.
After another Dragons lineout went astray and consequent scrum gave away yet another penalty, Bernard Jackman elected to replace both his props - Luke Garrett and Nicky Smith - after just 25 minutes, but Scarlets were over for their second try two minutes later.
Outside-centre Steffan Hughes put in an inch-perfect grubber kick for winger Prydie to pounce upon, leaving the score 12-3.
Dragons wing Pat Howard then kicked the ball out on the full after carrying back into his 22 and the Scarlets were soon over for their third try as skipper Ken Owens broke and offloaded to Davies, who in turn found Jones on his inside to dive under the sticks.
The away side were to have the final say of the opening period though, as full-back Carl Meyer struck a penalty from distance to end a half in which they, rather incredibly, did not enter the Scarlets 22 on any single occasion.
On 52 minutes, Scarlets secured the bonus-point try through scrum-half Davies after Rhys Patchell broke the line after receiving a Steven Cummins offload.
Less than two minutes later and the Scarlets scored their fifth try courtesy of Shingler after a fabulous team move, which started with hooker Owens turning the ball over on the ground and Patchell making another scything break.
Replacement flanker Boyde crossed for the home side's sixth effort on 63 minutes, as the Dragons once again had no answer to the forward power of the Scarlets at the maul.
Another replacement in the shape of scrum-half Rhys Jones crossed the whitewash with 15 minutes remaining as Patchell again broke the line from deep.
Dragons replacement scrum-half Sarel Pretorius was next to trouble the scoreboard as he sniped over from close range with five minutes remaining after the visitors' only prolonged period of pressure in the match.