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Last Updated: Friday, 20 February, 2004, 21:20 GMT
Scarlets 37-20 Munster

CELTIC LEAGUE
Tal Selley takes on the Munster defence
Scarlets (20) 37
Tries: G Williams, Rees, Watkins, G Bowen 
Cons: G Bowen 4
Pens:  G Bowen 3
Munster (3) 20
Tries: Horgan 2, Reddan
Cons: Henderson
Pens: Henderson
Att: 6,169
Fly-half Gareth Bowen claimed 22 points as the Scarlets got their Celtic League campaign back on track with a bonus point victory over Munster.

Bowen scored his side's crucial fourth try of the night right on the final whistle to end a Munster rally.

The home side had led 20-3 at the interval and seemed firmly in command.

Ireland wing Anthony Horgan then bagged two superb tries after the break to provide some nervous final moments for the Llanelli faithful.

Both sides suffered withdrawals before kick-off.

Llanelli's influential number eight Scott Quinnell missing out because of a groin injury while Munster skipper Jim Williams had to return home because of a family illness.

Munster though started strongly and went into a third minute lead through makeshift goal kicker Rob Henderson.

The Scarlets however responded positively with Bowen levelling matters with a penalty of his own three minutes later.

Munster's Rob Henderson
Rob Henderson was a makeshift goal kicker for Munster

However, when visiting number eight Stephen Keogh was sent to the sin-bin after a string of infringements by the visitors, Llanelli pulled clear with two well worked tries.

The first went to the outstanding home centre Matthew Watkins who sliced through on 29 minutes.

Then wing Richard Rees finished off a move created by Watkins and with Bowen converting both Llanelli were comfortably ahead at the turnaround.

But it was a different story in the second period.

Munster, with a bitterly cold wind at their backs, first hit back with a fine solo score from scrum-half Eoin Reddan before Horgan's double strike set up a grandstand finish.

But it was Scarlets and Bowen who finished the stronger with the fly-half sealing the five points - and a rare double over Munster - with his late flurry.


Scarlets: B Davies; R Rees, T Selley, M Watkins, R Johnson; G Bowen, M Phillips; P John, A Gravelle, J Davies, V Cooper (capt), C Wyatt, E Lewis, G Williams, D Hodges.
Replacements: M O'Kelly, A Yelland, A Jones, J Griffiths, D Burn, C Thomas, D Rogers.

Munster: S Payne; J Kelly, J Jones-Hughes, R Henderson, A Horgan; J Holland, E Reddan; S Kerr, J Blaney, G McIlwham, T Hogan, D Pusey, P Malone, E Halvey, S Keogh.
Replacements: M Lawlor, C O'Sullivan, F Murphy, F Roche, J Flanery, D Sheahan, T Hayes.

Referee: Graeme Hannah (Scotland)




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