Father and son duo help Scarlets beat Welsh rivals

Scarlets 25 Newport Gwent Dragons 15

Leaders Scarlets extended their unbeaten Guinness PRO12 with a 25-15 win over Newport Gwent Dragons at the Parc y Scarlets.

The game saw Regan King’s son, 18-year-old Jacob Cowley, made his debut after being named on the bench for the first time. Cowley joined his father in the Scarlets backline for the final 13 minutes – a remarkable first in the PRO12.

Jacob Cowley, left, and Regan King of the Scarlets pictured at the end of the game. Photo: INPHO/Kevin Barnes
Jacob Cowley, left, and Regan King of the Scarlets pictured at the end of the game. Photo: INPHO/Kevin Barnes

In the first Welsh derby of the 2015-16 campaign, Scarlets duo – flanker James Davies and prop Phil John – scored two tries apiece to secure the region’s sixth straight win. Full-back Aled Thomas kicked five points.

Dragons’ tries came from Jason Tovey, who missed a late penalty which would have given his side a losing bonus point, and Sarel Pretorius.

Taulupe Faletau started for Dragons after his planned transfer to Bath was blocked by Wales head coach Warren Gatland. The Wales number eight was one of four changes from the Dragons’ victory against Treviso.

Scarlets, who have extended coach Wayne Pivac’s deal by a further two years, included wing Harry Robinson for his first Scarlets start since recovering from neck surgery at the end of last season.

They led 12-8 at the break but the scoreline did not really reflect the home side’s dominance.

After a typically cagey start to a derby, Scarlets scored two tries in the space of nine minutes.

A break by Hadleigh Parkes set up the opening try chance which saw Steven Shingler’s long pass to the left helped on to put Davies over for Thomas to convert.

That put Scarlets on the front foot and gave them the confidence to play an off-load game which produced a team try scored by John who was twice involved in the move. Thomas failed with the conversion as Scarlets led 12-0 after 19 minutes.

Dragons came back into the game and were rewarded with a Tovey penalty from a ruck offence in the 25th minute.

Scarlets looked for a third try but lock Jake Ball could not hang on to King’s pass with the line in sight.

Tovey missed a second penalty but made up for that when he latched on to a loose ball to score a try against the run of play. He missed the conversion.

It was almost all Scarlets in the second half. After Thomas converted a penalty from in front of the posts, Dragons centre Adam Hughes was sin-binned for stopping home number eight John Barclay from taking a quick penalty.

And while Hughes was off the field, Scarlets scored two tries to give them the bonus point.

First prop John wriggled over from a line-out drive after 59 minutes and seven minutes later James Davies went over for the bonus point in similar fashion.

Eight minutes from time, replacement scrum-half Pretorius jinked over from a maul to score Dragons’ second try which was converted by Tovey to reduce the deficit to 10 points.

But Tovey was well short with a penalty attempt, meaning the Dragons missed out on a losing bonus point.

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