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Page last updated at 18:09 GMT, Saturday, 13 September 2008 19:09 UK

Scarlets 45-3 Connacht

Scarlets (12) 45
Tries: Manu (2), J Davies, Brew, Stoddart (2), M Jones Cons: S Jones (4), C Thomas

Connacht (3) 3
Pen: Keatley

Deacon Manu powers over for the first of his tries
Deacon Manu powers over for the first of his tries

Scarlets celebrated their final league game at Stradey Park by putting Connacht to the sword to continue their impressive 100% start to the season.

After Ian Keatley's opening penalty for Connacht the Scarlets took charge, Deacon Manu crossing for a brace.

The flood gates opened after the break, Jon Davies barging over for a score.

With Connacht's wide defence tiring the Scarlets spun the ball as Nathan Brew, Morgan Stoddart (2) and Mark Jones graced the famous turf with tries.

606: DEBATE
Connacht opened the scoring in the first minute, but the home side were soon on the front foot.

Dafydd James sparked them into life with a jinking run from his own line deep into the visitors' half.

Stoddart took the attack on and chipped forward towards the line, only for the Connacht cover to get in front of him and clear the danger.

The Scarlets, playing their first game since dropping the name Llanelli from their title, encamped on the visitors' line.

Another thrilling run from the on-fire James helped get them on the scoreboard, Manu profiting from the position to barge over from close range.

It was a perfect farewell to the Magners League at Stradey Park

Scarlets fly-half Stephen Jones
The Scarlets' confidence was flying, and when they chose to kick a penalty to touch Manu was again on hand to score a carbon-copy of his first try.

The visitors had Keith Matthews sent to the sin bin as the pressure mounted, but they were able to keep the gap to 12-3 at the break.

Scarlets replacement Davies soon extended the lead, though, the youngster making a mark on his return from injury by bullocking through opposing centre Gavin Duffy in a one-on-one under the shadow of the Connacht posts.

The bonus-point try soon followed, a thrilling Scarlets attack from their own 22 kept going by backs and forwards for Brew to get a stroll-in to the line.

The holes in the Connacht wide defence were now gaping, Stoddart and Mark Jones easing through to add to the try tally.

Man-of-the-match Stoddart capped a fine attacking display with the last try five minutes from the end.

The Scarlets will play two more games at Stradey Park - one in the EDF Energy Cup and one in the Heineken Cup - before making their move across Llanelli to their new Parc-y-Scarlets home.


Scarlets fly-half Stephen Jones:
"It was a perfect farewell to the Magners League at Stradey Park - we were very pleased with the performance and our three opening games of the season.

"The league is very competitive, we have to be strong at home and look to pick up points on the road.

"We've got a very tough game at Edinburgh next Friday, but we'll be going up there with confidence."


Scarlets: Stoddart, M. Jones, Higgitt, Brew, James, S. Jones, Roberts, John, Rees, Manu, Reed, Cooper, Easterby, G. Thomas, Lyons.
Replacements: Davies for James (41), C. Thomas for S. Jones (65), Martens for Roberts (67), Meeuws for John (54), Owen for Rees (54), Day for Reed (65), D. Jones for Easterby (56).

Connacht: Nathan, Carr, Duffy, Matthews, Wynne, Keatley, Campbell, Wilkinson, Flavin, Loughney, Swift, Farley, McCarthy, Ofisa, J. Muldoon.
Replacements: Deane for Duffy (56), Bibo for Keatley (39), Murphy for Campbell (51), McGovern for Loughney (80), Browne for Swift (17), Rigney for Farley (51). Not Used: Cronin.

Att: 6,041

Ref: Steve McDowell (Ireland).

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see also
Magners Celtic League 2008/9
11 Aug 08 |  Rugby Union
Magners League table
09 Aug 06 |  Tables
Celtic rugby archive
07 Jul 03 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
23 Mar 08 |  Wales


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