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Scarlets see off Connacht
Welsh side come on strong after half-time
Teenager Jordan Williams scored two tries on his full debut for the Scarlets as they completed a 24-11 comeback win over Connacht in the RaboDirect PRO12.
Scarlets, who had tallied 10 tries in their previous two league outings, were held scoreless in a first half that ended 8-0 in Connacht's favour.
Miah Nikora, excelling at out-half with the injured Dan Parks watching on, put the hosts ahead with a penalty and then set up Eoin Griffin for a 39th-minute try to leave Connacht in charge.
But the Scarlets rediscovered their scoring touch immediately after the break as Williams, who turns 19 next Thursday, and George North cut through for three tries in a superb 11-minute spell.
Nikora's second penalty reduced the margin to 17-11, but the Scarlets garnered a late bonus point when stand-in captain Jonathan Davies ran in an intercept score.
Rhys Priestland flung an early penalty wide at the Sportsground, the Welsh region benefiting from the wind advantage and a couple of charges from Samson Lee and North.
Connacht grew into the game with Ethienne Reynecke and Andrew Browne standing out in the forwards, and Nikora punished a scrum offence by Lee with a 10th-minute penalty.
A Willie Faloon-inspired surge almost led to a first try for the hosts, however captain Gavin Duffy spilt Tiernan O'Halloran's pass close to the right corner.
The Scarlets were making little headway until a lineout poach by Richard Kelly set their young backs in motion - North was put into space on the right before Nick Reynolds threatened on the opposite wing.
Handling errors prevented both sides from building momentum and too often the Scarlets fell foul of referee Neil Paterson at the breakdown, most frustratingly after an opportunist break from Josh Turnbull.
Starved of territory, Connacht played a smart game in defence and a series of deft passes unleashed centre Griffin for a near miss on the left.
But the former Ireland Under-20 international managed to score in the opposite corner just moments later, a low slung pass from Nikora taking three Scarlets players out of the game and putting Griffin over out wide.
Nikora was unable to add the difficult conversion and the interval came at just the right time for the Scarlets, who dominated on the resumption.
Just 45 seconds after the restart North burst through to create an overlap and pass for full-back Williams to slip over for his first try which Priestland converted.
Priestland missed a penalty but the visitors had found their groove in attack, with North brushing past Duffy's attempted tackle on the right to raid in for his five-pointer.
Another missed tackle cost Connacht dearly as Williams evaded Griffin's grasp to score again to the left of the posts, extending the lead to 17-8.
Connacht responded with a penalty from Nikora on the hour mark, and they pushed hard for a match winner until Davies intercepted Nikora's high pass in the last minute for a long range gallop to the line.RaboDirect Pro 12. Click here to bet.
Guinness PRO12 Table
|Friday 6th March|
|19:35||Cardiff Blues vs Connacht|
|19:35||Glasgow Warriors vs Zebre|
|Saturday 7th March|
|14:40||Ospreys vs Munster|
|17:15||Scarlets vs Leinster|
|18:00||Treviso vs Edinburgh|
|Sunday 8th March|
|16:00||Dragons vs Ulster|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:35||Leinster vs Glasgow|
|19:35||Ulster vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 28th March|
|TBC||Benetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|TBC||Ospreys vs Zebre|
|14:40||Scarlets vs Edinburgh|
|17:15||Munster vs Connacht|
|Friday 10th April|
|19:35||Glasgow vs Cardiff Blues|
|19:35||Benetton Treviso vs Ospreys|
|Saturday 11th April|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Munster|
|TBC||Zebre vs Scarlets|
|14:40||Connacht vs Ulster|
|Sunday 12th April|
|16:00||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Leinster|
|Friday 24th April|
|19:35||Edinburgh vs Zebre|
|19:35||Ulster vs Leinster|
|Saturday 25th April|
|TBC||Munster vs Benetton Treviso|
|TBC||Cardiff Blues vs Ospreys|
|TBC||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Scarlets|
|TBC||Connacht vs Glasgow|
|Saturday 9th May|
|15:00||Ulster vs Munster|
|Sunday 1st March|
|Connacht 53 - 5 Treviso|
|Zebre 23 - 17 Dragons|
|Cardiff Blues 21 - 15 Edinburgh|
|Saturday 28th February|
|Munster 22 - 10 Glasgow Warriors|
|Friday 27th February|
|Ospreys 9 - 9 Leinster|
|Ulster 25 - 20 Scarlets|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|Dragons 25 - 30 Connacht|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Glasgow 19 - 16 Ospreys|
|Scarlets 25 - 25 Munster|
|Friday 20th February|
|Edinburgh 17 - 20 Ulster|
|Leinster 29 - 8 Zebre|
|Benetton Treviso 40 - 24 Cardiff Blues|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Leinster 14 - 16 Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Zebre 10 - 54 Glasgow|
|Scarlets 32 - 14 Connacht|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Munster 33 - 16 Cardiff Blues|
|Friday 13th February|
|Edinburgh 24 - 16 Ospreys|
|Ulster 43 - 3 Benetton Treviso|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com