Scarlets pip Dragons to keep pressure on Ulster

Scarlets pip Dragons to keep pressure on Ulster
Ulster and the Scarlets must fight it out for a play-off spot next Saturday.

The Scarlets won at the third time of asking in the Guinness Pro12 as they grabbed a try bonus point to do the double over Newport Gwent Dragons with a 34-20 victory.

But there was concern about Wales prop Samson Lee who came off a short time into the match for a suspected head injury assessment and did not return.

The Scarlets did what they had to do to keep pace with fourth-placed Ulster in the race for the final play-off place which will conclude next weekend.

Centre Scott Williams crossed for a first-half try with all the other 15 points before the break for the Scarlets coming via fly-half Steve Shingler with a try, two penalties and two conversions against an Adam Warren try and two penalties and a conversion from outside-half Angus O'Brien for the Dragons.

Wing Steff Evans and replacement Gareth Davies added further Scarlets tries, with Shingler converting both, after the break against a second Dragons converted touchdown by wing Adam Hughes.

But it could have been much more as the Scarlets roared from the outset to swamp the Dragons.

The Gwent region, playing their first Pro12 match since the resignation of director of rugby Lyn Jones, could not get out of their 22 as first Williams finished off a brilliant handling move that saw him link with full-back Michael Collins to score a converted try.

Then Shingler dived over from huge pressure on the Dragons line, converting himself.

The Scarlets should have been three tries up in 15 minutes when Evans dropped a simple pass with the line at his mercy. It was looking terribly ominous for the Dragons by then.

However, one piece of luck for the Gwent side, which has not won now in eight league matches since January 29's 23-13 success over Leinster, brought them back in a fast and furious game.

Lock Rynard Landman charged down a Shingler clearance near halfway. The South African chased on, Shingler covered but, under pressure from number eight Taulupe Faletau, the fly-half fumbled for Warren to score.

Shingler and O'Brien exchanged penalties but the Dragons held the numerical advantage at the break after replacement prop Peter Edwards, on for Lee, was binned for no using his arms in a tackle.

But the Scarlets held the important points advantage at 20-13 at the interval, which they improved early in the second-half when they turned over ball on their own ten metre line for Evans to scorch over in the corner.

The pace dwindled from then as the Scarlets sat back on their lead and the Dragons either lost the ball in the opposition half or gave away needless penalties.

Hughes' corner try gave Dragons hope of winning but Davies' late converted score got the bonus point for the Scarlets and wrapped things up.

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