Gareth Davies seals comeback win for Scarlets

Gareth Davies seals comeback win for Scarlets

Scrum-half Gareth Davies scored twice as Scarlets came back from behind to beat 14-man Benetton 38-29 in their Guinness PRO14 clash at Parc y Scarlets this evening.

Benetton paid after having lock Irne Herbst sent off in the 27th minute for elbowing Samson Lee in the head at a ruck.

Scarlets had trailed twice but recovered to secure a bonus point win, with Gareth Davies (2), Kieron Fonotia, Johnny McNicholl, Ed Kennedy and Tom Prydie scoring tries - four of which were converted by Leigh Halfpenny.

Props Nicola Quaglio and Simone Ferrari, Monty Ioane and Luca Sperandio went over the line for Benetton, for whom Tommaso Allan kicked nine points.

Scarlets went in to the match without both Wales internationals Rhys Patchell (head) and Rob Evans (shoulder) while Sebastian Negri and Dean Budd missed out as Benetton coach Kieran Crowley made a host of changes from the team that beat Cardiff Blues.

Four tries came in a frenetic opening 16 minutes, with Scarlets opening the scoring in the fifth minute when scrum-half Davies went over following a James Davies dummy and a Lee turnover. Halfpenny converted.

Benetton were back level five minutes later when prop Quaglio crashed over for Allan to convert.

A brilliant Halfpenny pass sent Fonotia across the line two minutes later but Halfpenny's conversion attempt rebounded off the post, and on 16 minutes the Italian side were in front when Ferrari rumbled over for Allan to convert.

There was another blow for Scarlets when James Davies limped off with a knee injury but a key moment in the match came with Herbst's dismissal, referee Lloyd Linton having little choice but to send him off after a review from the TMO.

After Allan missed a long-range penalty attempt Scarlets made the most of having the extra man and Davies ran away to the line for his second try after good work from Halfpenny and Blake Thomson.

But Scarlets were stunned at the start of the second half as Benetton scored two tries in the space of three minutes.

After Ioane crossed in the 41st minute, Sperandio was over after a chip ahead by Dewaldt Duvenage. Allan converted the second try to give the visitors a 26-17 lead.

In the 50th minute, Hame Favia was yellow-carded for a high tackle on McNicholl, who grabbed the bonus point try on the hour after the wing went in at the left corner. Halfpenny's conversion reduced the deficit to two points.

Scarlets took the lead for a third time when Kennedy touched down after a 40-metre break by replacement Paul Asquith. Halfpenny converted and Scarlets led 31-26.

Then, right at the end, replacement Sam Hidalgo-Clyne's cross-kick gave Prydie his side's sixth try - and Halfpenny converted.

- PA


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