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Last Updated: Friday, 16 April, 2004, 21:08 GMT 22:08 UK
Scarlets 51-20 Leinster
Scarlets scrum-half Dwayne Peel
Scarlets (13) 51
Tries: B Davies 2, Evans, Peel 2, Thiel.
Cons: S Jones 6.
Pens: S Jones 3.
Leinster (5) 20
Try: Horgan, McWeeney 2.
Con: Contepomi.
Pen: Contepomi.
Att: 5,679
The Scarlets continue to match title rivals Ulster stride for stride after beating Leinster at Stradey Park.

Ulster also claimed a bonus-point win on Friday against Connacht to stay just ahead in the Celtic League race.

Dwayne Peel and Barry Davies each claimed a brace of tries as Scarlets blitzed Leinster in the second half.

John McWeeney (2) and Shane Horgan scored for the visitors, but Stephen Jones kicked 21 points to go with the Scarlets' six tries.

The win was just what the Scarlets needed to bounce back from their European heartbreak, after losing their home Heineken Cup quarter-final against Biarritz last weekend.

Despite being hit by the late withdrawal of number eight Scott Quinnell and taking the field minus a handful of Wales internationals, the Scarlets dominated the opening quarter.

Lock Chris Wyatt and wing Salesi Finau both went close, but the Scarlets' only reward came via two penalties by fly-half Jones.

With the Leinster pack gradually getting into the game, their star-studded three-quarters Brian O'Driscoll and Gordon D'Arcy began to find some space.

The Dubliners struck back with the game's first try on 28 minutes when a strong run by lock Ben Gissing sucked in the home cover and wing Horgan was put away.

The Scarlets continued to press, however, and they enjoyed an eight-point cushion at the break when lively scrum-half Peel darted through a gap to cross in the corner, with Jones again converting.

A 13-5 half-time lead quickly became 16-5 through a third Jones penalty and, although fly-half Felipe Contepomi pulled a penalty back for Leinster, the rest of the half belonged to the Scarlets.

First wing Garan Evans crossed in the 53rd minute following a strong period of pressure.

Then some superb handling and angles of running saw full-back Barry Davies cross and man-of-the-match Peel claim his second and the crucial bonus point.

Canadian prop Jon Thiel claimed Llanelli's fifth of the night, Davies the sixth and a late double from replacement McWeeney was nothing but consolation for Leinster.

Scarlets: B Davies, G Evans, M Taylor, T Selley, S Finau, S Jones, D Peel, I Thomas, A Gravelle, J Thiel, A Jones, C Wyatt, S Easterby, I Boobyer, D Hodges.

Replacements: J Davies, R McBryde, B Griffiths, E Lewis, M Phillips, G Bowen, R Rees.

Leinster: G Dempsey, S Horgan, G D'Arcy, B O'Driscoll, B Burke, F Contempomi, B O'Riordan, R Corrigan (capt), S Byrne, P Coyle, M O'Kelly, B Gissing, V Costello, N Ronan, D Dillon.

Replacements: E Byrne, G Hickie, L Cullen, A McCullen, B O'Meara, D Quinlan, J McWeeney.

Referee: Malcolm Changleng (Scotland).



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