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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 26th December|
|14:05||Cardiff Blues vs Dragons|
|17:00||Munster vs Leinster|
|18:45||Ulster vs Connacht|
|Saturday 27th December|
|14:40||Glasgow Warriors vs Edinburgh|
|17:15||Ospreys vs Scarlets|
|Sunday 28th December|
|14:00||Zebre vs Treviso|
|Thursday 1st January|
|14:05||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Cardiff Blues|
|17:00||Connacht vs Munster|
|Friday 2nd January|
|19:35||Edinburgh vs Glasgow Warriors|
|Saturday 3rd January|
|14:00||Treviso vs Zebre|
|14:40||Leinster vs Ulster|
|17:05||Scarlets vs Ospreys|
|Friday 9th January|
|19:35||Connacht vs Edinburgh|
|19:35||Glasgow vs Scarlets|
|Saturday 10th January|
|14:40||Cardiff Blues vs Leinster|
|15:00||Zebre vs Munster|
|Sunday 11th January|
|14:00||Treviso vs Ulster|
|16:00||Ospreys vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Wednesday 14th January|
|TBC||Leinster vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|TBC||Scarlets vs Connacht|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Ospreys|
|TBC||Ulster vs Benetton Treviso|
|TBC||Zebre vs Glasgow|
|TBC||Munster vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 21st February|
|TBC||Benetton Treviso vs Cardiff Blues|
|Sunday 21st December|
|Dragons 25 - 11 Zebre|
|Saturday 20th December|
|Ospreys 31 - 20 Ulster|
|Glasgow Warriors 21 - 18 Munster|
|Friday 19th December|
|Cardiff Blues 21 - 9 Scarlets|
|Edinburgh 48 - 0 Treviso|
|Leinster 21 - 11 Connacht|
|Sunday 30th November|
|Glasgow Warriors 19 - 15 Dragons|
|Saturday 29th November|
|Connacht 14 - 8 Scarlets|
|Leinster 18 - 12 Ospreys|
|Zebre 18 - 10 Edinburgh|
|Friday 28th November|
|Cardiff Blues 36 - 25 Treviso|
|Munster 21 - 20 Ulster|
|Sunday 23rd November|
|Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff Blues|
|Treviso 24 - 24 Leinster|
|Friday 21st November|
|Ulster 25 - 16 Ospreys|
|Connacht 43 - 3 Zebre|
|Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow Warriors|
|Dragons 12 - 38 Munster|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com