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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 September, 2004, 18:15 GMT 19:15 UK
Scarlets 37-16 Edinburgh
CELTIC LEAGUE
Scarlets winger Tal Selley scores his side's first try
Scarlets (22) 37
Tries: Selley, Watkins, A Thomas, Taylor, Evans
Cons: A Thomas (2), Bowen
Pens: A Thomas, Bowen
Edinburgh (9) 16
Try: Southwell
Con: Paterson
Pens: Paterson (3)
Att: 7,648
Three first half tries laid the foundations for the Scarlets to secure a bonus-point win over Edinburgh.

Tal Selley, Matthew Watkins and Arwel Thomas crossed in the first 25 minutes, with fly-half Thomas also kicking a penalty and two conversions.

Chris Paterson kept Edinburgh in touch with three penalties and then Hugo Southwell closed the gap with a try.

But a 64th minute Mark Taylor try took the Scarlets clear again, and Garan Evans' late try wrapped things up.

The Scarlets, who had failed to score a try in their last two outings, looked in fine form as they took the visitors by surprise with their early scores.

Selley's effort came straight from the kick-off after Thomas had put the home side ahead with a fourth minute penalty.

Centre Matthew Watkins made the crucial break, passed to fellow centre Mark Taylor who then fed Selley to race clear down the left wing.

A Paterson penalty closed the gap, but the Edinburgh backs were their own worst enemy as they allowed Watkins to intercept a loose pass just outside their own 22 to run in unopposed for the home side's second try.

Thomas converted and then added a try of his own just two minutes later, with Watkins again involved.

His kick over the Edinburgh defence was fumbled in the in-goal area by winger Simon Webster, and Thomas was on hand to collect the loose ball to score.

Man-of-the-match Matthew Watkins
We haven't had the best start to the season so we had to bounce back
Scarelts centre Matthew Watkins
The fly-half converted his own try, but two Paterson penalties before the interval ensured the visitors kept just about in touch at 22-9 down.

And when Southwell crossed for Edinburgh six minutes after the interval following Derek Lee's blindside break, the match was very much a contest again.

Paterson's conversion cut the deficit to six points.

Sensing the threat, the Scarlets soon picked up their game to reaffirm their stranglehold on the match.

Gareth Bowen, on for the second half for Thomas, edged the Scarlets further ahead again with a penalty on the hour mark and Taylor's try five minutes later eased the tension at Stradey Park.

The Wales centre showed great strength well to hand off his would-be tackler to cross on the left and secure his side a bonus point for scoring four tries.

Evans' injury-time try, converted by Bowen, gave the final scoreline a slightly flattering feel, and the Scarlets will know they still have plenty of room for improvement.


Scarlets: B Davies; G Evans, M Watkins, M Taylor, T Selley; A Thomas, M Phillips; I Thomas, M Rees, J Davies, V Cooper, A Jones, S Easterby (Capt), G Thomas, A Powell.
Replacements: J Thiel, C Hawkins, C Wyatt, B Griffiths, R Jones, G Bowen, S Finau.

Edinburgh: H Southwell; S Webster, M Di Rollo, C Joiner, C Paterson; B Laney, M Blair; A Jacobsen, A Kelly, J Brannigan, N Hines, A Kellock, T Blackadder (Capt), A Hogg, S Cross.
Replacements: D Hall, C Smith, A Strokosch, D Callam, R Lawson, M Pyke, D Lee.

Referee: Donal Courtney (Ireland).




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SEE ALSO
Scarlets sign scrum-half
22 Sep 04  |  Welsh



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