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RaboDirect Pro12: Scarlets edge kicking battle with Cardiff Blues
Aled Thomas kicked the Scarlets to a 9-6 win over Cardiff Blues in the RaboDirect Pro12 derby.
Stand-off Thomas slotted three penalties in the first half, enough to ensure the Scarlets emerged victorious from a try-less, error-strewn contest and remain in second place in the league table.
Cardiff had started the evening with in optimistic mood; Wales lock Bradley Davies returned from injury and wing Alex Cuthbert had just signed a three-year contract extension.
But the Scarlets also welcomed back injured internationals in back-row duo Josh Turnbull and Aaron Shingler while, even without fly-half Rhys Priestland, their back division still included five of Wales' current squad.
With the Cardiff scrum under pressure early on, Thomas was on target twice with penalties in the first 10 minutes. The second of those was from 50 metres as the visitors took the early initiative in front of of a season-high crowd of 9,872 at the Arms Park.
His opposite number, teenager Rhys Patchell, got Cardiff on the board with a 16th-minute penalty after referee Ian Davies spotted an obstruction.
The Blues were given a let-off when Thomas pushed the easiest of his penalty chances wide, but Patchell was guilty of an even worse miss from in front of the posts.
The Scarlets edged 9-3 in front just before half-time thanks to Thomas' third successful kick.
Patchell cut Cardiff's deficit to three points with his second penalty in the 58th minute but the Scarlets comfortably saw out the final quarter for their first win in four matches.
The result continues the Blues' woeful home form - they have won just once at the Arms Park this season - and extends their losing streak in all competitions to four.Don't miss any live and exclusive rugby union coverage this festive season. Click hereto visit Sky Sports' Festive CalendarRaboDirect Pro 12. Click here to bet.
Guinness PRO12 Table
|Saturday 6th September|
|TBC||Munster vs Edinburgh|
|TBC||Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|TBC||Glasgow vs Leinster|
|TBC||Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso|
|TBC||Scarlets vs Ulster|
|TBC||Zebre vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 13th September|
|TBC||Benetton Treviso vs Munster|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Connacht|
|TBC||Ulster vs Zebre|
|TBC||Leinster vs Scarlets|
|TBC||Cardiff Blues vs Glasgow|
|TBC||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ospreys|
|Saturday 20th September|
|TBC||Cardiff Blues vs Ulster|
|TBC||Zebre vs Munster|
|TBC||Ospreys vs Edinburgh|
|TBC||Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso|
|TBC||Connacht vs Leinster|
|TBC||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow|
|Saturday 27th September|
|TBC||Leinster vs Cardiff Blues|
|TBC||Munster vs Ospreys|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Scarlets|
|TBC||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Benetton Treviso|
|TBC||Zebre vs Ulster|
|TBC||Glasgow vs Connacht|
|Saturday 4th October|
|TBC||Leinster vs Munster|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com