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Last Updated: Friday, 29 April, 2005, 19:41 GMT 20:41 UK
Dragons 19-49 Scarlets
CELTIC CUP QUARTER-FINAL
Ceiron Thomas tackles Kevin Morgan
Dragons (0) 19
Tries: Tuipulotu, Sweeney, Breeze
Cons: Sweeney (2)
Scarlets (23) 49
Tries: Selley (3), Havili (2), G Evans
Cons: C Thomas (5)
Pens: C Thomas (2), B Davies
Att: 3,120
The Scarlets scorched into the Celtic Cup semi-finals with a rampant display against the woeful Dragons in Newport.

Debut-making fly-half Ceiron Thomas controlled the first half as Tal Selley and Aisea Havili scored Scarlets tries.

The Dragons chased the game after the break, but mistakes help let in Havili, Selley and Garan Evans for more scores.

The Dragons rallied for consolations from Sione Tuipulotu, Ceri Sweeney and Ben Breeze, but Selley rounded off the game with his hat-trick try.

It completed desperately disappointing final Dragons appearances for Percy Montgomery, Rod Snow and coach Chris Anderson, marking the region's first home loss against another Welsh side.

The Scarlets will host the winners of Saturday's Ospreys-Ulster game in next week's semi-final at Stradey Park.

That's just one good performance, we need two more, and we'd like to be facing the Ospreys next week
Scarlets captain Simon Easterby
Thomas, 21, showed few nerves as he landed two early penalties.

Selley eased through a yawning gap for the first try and Thomas, the Llanelli RFC fly-half and a former Wales Schools and Youth player, converted.

The youngster then brushed past Sweeney - the man favoured to wear the Wales number 10 shirt on the summer tour - in midfield.

A desperate Jason Forster tap-tackle brought Thomas down, but a suspiciously forward pass freed Havili for the second try.

With half-time approaching, Jason Forster and Phil John ended 40 minutes of niggle as both were sent to the sin bin following a brawl.

Garan Evans gets a grip on Ceri Sweeney
Ceri Sweeney got a late consolation try for the Dragons
The Dragons came out after the break determined to spread the ball, but an attack broke down in the Scarlets half, allowing Havili to pick up and sprint 70m for his second try.

Another turnover and a long Dwayne Peel kick saw Evans hack on and control well for the fourth try.

Andy Powell was sin-binned for a high tackle, but the Dragons lost ball on the Scarlets' line, allowing a spectacular counter-attack that ended with a 40m Selley run-in.

Montgomery was hauled off after an anonymous final display before his return to South Africa, as the home fans streamed from Rodney Parade.

Lions scrum-half Gareth Cooper came on for his first game since February following an ankle injury, along with Canada prop Snow for his last game for the club.

It's sad and unfortunate to end like that, but Newport's been great to me
Percy Montgomery
That revived the Dragons somewhat and another replacement, Tuipulotu, powered over for their first score.

A beautiful Craig Warlow pass sent Sweeney in for a try, and wing Breeze did well to finish another.

But the Scarlets had the final word, Thomas chipping over the top, Matthew Watkins gathering and sending Selley under the posts.

"That's been a long time coming, we've let a lot of people down and owed the supporters and the club," said Scarlets captain Simon Easterby.

"That's just one good performance, we need two more, and we'd like to be facing the Ospreys next week."

The Dragons' departing Springbok star Montgomery was philosophical.

"They just wanted it more than us and played really well," he told BBC Sport Wales.

"We made too many mistakes and couldn't get our game going.

"It's sad and unfortunate to end like that, but Newport's been great to me and I've really enjoyed my time here."


Dragons: Morgan, Wyatt, Montgomery, Bryant, Breeze, Sweeney, Baber, Black, Jones, Thomas, Gough, Charteris, Oakley, Owen, Forster.
Replacements: Tuipulotu for Montgomery (64), Snow for Black (55). Not Used: Richards, Sidoli, Warlow, Cooper, Veater.

Scarlets: B. Davies, G. Evans, Watkins, Selley, Havili, C. Thomas, Peel, John, Rees, J. Davies, A. Jones, Wyatt, Easterby, Powell, G. Thomas.
Replacements: Maddocks for Watkins (48), G. Quinnell for A. Jones (53), Cooper for G. Thomas (68). Not Used: Gravelle, Phillips, Byrne.

Referee: Donal Courtney (Ireland).




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