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Friday, 13 September, 2002, 06:44 GMT 07:44 UK
Llanelli pay the penalty
Scott Quinnell is tackled by Neath blindside Hywel Jenkins
Llanelli had Scott Quinnell sin-binned in the second half
Celtic League - Pool A
Neath 29-13 Llanelli

Neath maintained their unbeaten start to the season as they saw off the challenge of Llanelli to move into second place in Pool A of the Celtic League.

A forgettable first half was laid to rest after the break as Neath delighted their fans at the Gnoll with a fierce attacking display.

Llanelli contributed to their own downfall with a mixture of weak tackling and indiscipline that Neath took full advantage of.

  Scoring details:
Neath (3) 29:
Tries:
Marsden, Jenkins.
Cons: Jarvis 2.
Pens: Jarvis 5.
Llanelli (6) 13:
Try:
I Thomas.
Con: S Jones.
Pens: S Jones 2.
Att: 6,000

With fly-half Lee Jarvis controlling proceedings - overshadowing Wales rival Stephen Jones - and kicking goals, right wing Sean Marsden opened the try account.

Then Hywel Jenkins, recruited from Swansea during the summer, opened his account for Neath with a bullocking run that took him in under the posts.

Neath can now travel to Ireland next Friday in good spirits to face Ulster, destroyed by Swansea earlier in the day, while Llanelli must try and regroup against Ebbw Vale.

The match failed to live up to expectations in the first half, as the two west Wales rivals produced an error-ridden affair.

Defences were firmly on top and only the boots of the rival fly-halves threatened to make the scoreboard operators earn their corn.

Nearly a quarter of an hour had passed before Jarvis began the evening's scoring with a penalty for the home side.

Llanelli blindside Simon Easterby
Simon Easterby went off injured at half-time

Jones replied for the Scarlets to level the scores, then struck a second to put the visitors ahead after 30 minutes.

That was how it stayed until the break, although Jarvis missed a kick that would have sent the Welsh All Blacks in level.

Thankfully Neath found their feet in the second half and promptly decided to run Llanelli off theirs.

Jarvis added his second penalty after Llanelli, not for the first time, infringed at a ruck - Vernon Cooper the culprit this time.

Then Dave Tiueti produced a moment of real quality, bursting through the Llanelli midfield and firing a pass long and wide to Marsden on the right wing to score.

Jarvis converted to make it 13-6 and suddenly Neath came alive, with Marsden coming off his wing to feed Shane Williams.

Williams' jinking run was stopped on the Llanelli 22 but the ball was recycled swiftly to the waiting forwards in support.

Neath No 8 Nathan Bonner-Evans holds off the challenge of Llanelli scrum-half Guy Easterby
Nathan Bonner-Evans launches a Neath attack

Benefiting from weak Scarlets tackling was blindside Jenkins, who shoved off Jones before stepping through Guy Easterby to score under the posts, Jarvis converting.

Things looked bleak for Llanelli, who were struggling to impose any pattern on their play and then lost Scott Quinnell to the sin-bin as referee Alan Lewis lost patience with yet another misdemeanour at the breakdown.

Yet the Scarlets at last managed to put some coherent play together, resulting in an attack that saw Wales prop Iestyn Thomas driven over under the posts.

Jones' conversion dragged the visitors back to 23-13 but that good work was soon wiped out by more indiscretions.

Jarvis was certainly in the kicking groove and made no mistake with two more penalties to give Neath a handy 16-point lead with five minutes remaining.


Neath: A Durston; S Marsden, A Bateman, D Tiueti, S Williams; L Jarvis, A Moore; D Jones, B Williams, A Jones, A Newman, G Llewellyn (capt), H Jenkins, S Tandy, N Bonner-Evans.
Reps: P Horgan, S Connor, J Storey, S Jones, L Bateman, A Mocelutu, A Millward.

Llanelli: G Evans; M Jones, M Watkins, M Cardey, S Finau; S Jones, G Easterby; I Thomas, R McBryde, J Davies, V Cooper (capt), L Gross, S Easterby, I Boobyer, S Quinnell.
Reps: M Madden, M Thomas, P Clapham, D Jones, D Peel, G Bowen, T Selley.

Referee: Alan Lewis (Ireland).


The final

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