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Page last updated at 20:01 GMT, Friday, 24 September 2010 21:01 UK

Magners League: Dragons 14-27 Scarlets

Dragons (3) 14
Try: Harries. Pens: M Jones 3.
Scarlets (24) 27
Tries: North, J Davies, Rees. Cons: S Jones 3. Pens: S Jones 2.


Scarlets centre Jon Davies races away for a try against the Dragons
Scarlets centre Jon Davies races away for a try against the Dragons

Scarlets survived three yellow cards and a sloppy second-half show to win at Welsh rivals Newport Gwent Dragons.

The visitors bossed the first half, as George North, Jon Davies and Matthew Rees claimed tries for a 24-3 lead.

But Davies and Rees were sin-binned just before half-time and Tavis Knoyle joined them soon after the restart.

Dragons hit back with two Matthew Jones penalties and Will Harries' try, only for Stephen Jones' boot to ease Scarlets home with a late penalty.

The Scarlets maintained their winning run, after an opening-day defeat at Benetton Treviso, to claim second place in the Magners League but failed to claim maximum points.

Sean Lamont should have ensured a fourth try and the bonus point that would have gone with it, but the Scotland wing selfishly held onto the ball with men in support as he was bundled over by Dragons defenders.

Centre Davies - deservedly man of the match despite his yellow card - gave Scarlets a late scare after limping off in pain with an ankle injury, but afterwards confirmed he thought it was just a sprain.

Scarlets centre Jon Davies

Davies delight at Dragons scalp

It was Davies who set up the opening try for wing North before picking the ball up on the Dragons' 10-metre line and surging to the posts to score, despite the attentions of despairing tacklers Harries and Adam Hughes.

Fly-half Stephen Jones had made the initial break that led to Davies' try and kicked both around the field and through the posts magnificently.

Wales and Lions hooker Rees piled on the agony for the Dragons as he scrambled on the floor for the third try from a few metres but only after referee James Jones had consulted with video official Neil Ballard.

Scarlets' defence was rock solid and allowed the Dragons nothing but the home side did not make it easy for themselves when flanker Robin Sowden-Taylor was sin-binned for a ruck offence.

However, the visitors gave the Dragons a two-man advantage for 13 minutes of the second half when first Davies and then Rees were sent to the sin-bin.

And, although the Dragons managed to grab two penalties despite trailing by 21 points in that period - skipper Tom Willis strangely asking Matthew Jones to boot a 15-metre shot when a scrum would have been better - it should have been more.

Gatland praises centre Davies

Scarlets lost a third man to the sin-bin when scrum-half Knoyle was yellow carded for taking out rival nine Wayne Evans off the ball.

This time the Dragons did make it count as a neat move saw centres Aled Brew and Tom Riley combine to put Harries over in the left corner to make it 24-14, as the Dragons finally found some momentum.

But it all counted for nothing as they failed to breach the Scarlets' defence again, before Jones kicking an easy penalty to seal victory for the visitors.


Dragons: Will Harries; Adam Hughes, Tom Riley, Rhodri Gomer Davies, Aled Brew; Matthew Jones, Wayne Evans; Phil Price, Tom Willis (capt), Ben Castle, Luke Charteris, Rob Sidoli, Dan Lydiate, Robin Sowden-Taylor, Gavin Thomas.
Replacements: Lloyd Burns, Nigel Hall for Castle (62), Aaron Coundley, Adam Jones for Charteris (57), Andrew Coombs Sowden-Taylor (63), Shaun Connor, Nicky Griffiths for Evans (68), Tom Cheeseman for Gomer Davies (57).

Scarlets: Andy Fenby; George North, Regan King, Jon Davies, Sean Lamont; Stephen Jones, Tavis Knoyle; Iestyn Thomas, Matthew Rees (capt), Deacon Manu, Lou Reed, Vernon Cooper, Josh Turnbull, Johnathan Edwards, David Lyons.
Replacements: Ken Owens for J. Edwards (67), Phil John for I. Thomas (70), Rhys M Thomas for Manu (56), Dominic Day for Reed (53), Jonny Fa'amatuainu, Martin Roberts, Gareth Maule for Priestland (55), Rhys Priestland for Fenby (22).

Att: 6,120

Referee: James Jones (WRU)



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see also
Scarlets able to 'scorch' Dragons
22 Sep 10 |  Welsh
Dragons sign Cheeseman from Bath
16 Sep 10 |  NG Dragons
Magners League 2010/11
02 Jul 10 |  Rugby Union
RaboDirect Pro12 table
09 Aug 06 |  Tables
Regional rugby archive
07 Jul 03 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
Coming up next on Scrum V...
03 Nov 08 |  Welsh


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