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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
|Friday 26th December|
|14:05||Cardiff Blues vs Dragons|
|Thursday 1st January|
|14:05||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 10th January|
|14:40||Cardiff Blues vs Leinster|
|Wednesday 14th January|
|TBC||Munster vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 17th January|
|European Rugby Challenge Cup|
|TBC||Cardiff Blues vs Rovigo|
|Saturday 24th January|
|TBC||Grenoble vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 31st January|
|15:00||Wasps vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Cardiff Blues vs Leicester|
|Saturday 21st February|
|TBC||Benetton Treviso vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 28th February|
|TBC||Cardiff Blues vs Edinburgh|
|Saturday 7th March|
|TBC||Cardiff Blues vs Connacht|
|Saturday 28th March|
|TBC||Ulster vs Cardiff Blues|
|Friday 19th December|
|Cardiff Blues 21 - 9 Scarlets|
|Saturday 13th December|
|European Rugby Challenge Cup|
|London Irish 34 - 23 Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 6th December|
|Cardiff Blues 24 - 14 London Irish|
|Friday 28th November|
|Cardiff Blues 36 - 25 Treviso|
|Sunday 23rd November|
|Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff Blues|
|Friday 14th November|
|Cardiff Blues 19 - 13 Scarlets|
|Friday 7th November|
|Newcastle 21 - 22 Cardiff Blues|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com