Scarlets' late show down Benetton

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 15:46
Large scarlets v benetton.800

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: Scarlets kept their hopes of reaching the Champions Cup knockout stages with a 33-28 victory over Benetton Treviso in a tumultuous affair at Parc y Scarlets on Saturday.

Scrumhalf Gareth Davies dotted down twice in the opening six minutes, while Tadhg Beirne, Steff Evans and Paul Asquith also joined the scoresheet as Scarlets collected a bonus-point victory to move within one point of Pool Five leaders Bath Rugby and RC Toulon, who lock horns later on Saturday.

Wales international Davies got the hosts off to a flying start in Llanelli with a brace of tries in three minutes, both converted by Leigh Halfpenny to give them an early 14-point advantage, only for Benetton Treviso No.8 Robert Barbieri to open the visitors tally to halve the deficit in an action-packed opening quarter.

Scarlets' advantage was enhanced on 24 minutes when flank Francesco Minto was shown a red card for a dangerous tackle, reducing Benetton Treviso to 14 men for the remainder - and the hosts made it pay as flanker Bernie crossed in a third home try and Halfpenny restored the 14-point cushion.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, Treviso were boosted before the break as fullback Jayden Hayward dotted down a second try and Tommaso Allan's conversion reduced the gap back to seven and the visitors were level 16 minutes into the second half as winger Angelo Esposito raced in a third try.

Against the run of play, Federico Ruzza added a bonus-point score for Benetton Treviso, who took a seven-point lead with just nine minutes to play, which they could be forgiven for thinking would be enough to see them home.

However, Scarlets - roared on by a partisan home crowd - battled to the end with wing Evans and centre Asquith securing a late victory in a fiercely contested encounter, which will all be repeated again next weekend.

The scorers:

For Scarlets:
Tries
: G Davies 2, Beirne, S Evans, Asquith
Cons: Halfpenny 3, Patchell

For Benetton Rugby:
Tries:
Barbieri, Hayward, Esposito, Ruzza
Cons: Allan 4

Yellow Card: James Davies (Scarlets)

Red Card: Francesco Minto (Benetton)

Scarlets: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Paul Asquith, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 John Barclay, 7 James Davies, 6 Tadhg Beirne, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Steven Cummins, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Ken Owens (captain), 1 Wyn Jones
Replacements: 16 Taylor Davies, 17 Rob Evans, 18 Simon Gardiner, 19 Lewis Rawlins, 20 Josh Macleod, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Steff Hughes, 23 Tom Prydie

Benetton Rugby: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Angelo Esposito, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Tommy Allan, 9 Giorgio Bronzini, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Seb Negri Da Oleggio, 6 Francesco Minto, 5 Federico Ruzza, 4 Marco Lazzaroni, 3 Tiziano Pasquali, 2 Hame Faiva, 1 Nicola Quaglio
Replacements: 16 Luca Bigi, 17 Federico Zani, 18 Alberto de Marchi, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Whetu Douglas, 21 Tito Tebaldi, 22 Ian McKinley, 23 Luca Morisi

Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant referees: Tual Trainini (France), Mathieu Noirot (France)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)

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Sat, 20 January 2018
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Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
Ulster 5 3 0 2 17
La Rochelle 5 3 0 2 16
Wasps 5 2 0 3 12
Harlequins 5 1 0 4 7
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 5 4 0 1 18
Ospreys 5 2 1 2 15
Saracens 5 2 1 2 13
Northampton Saints 5 1 0 4 6
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 5 5 0 0 23
Exeter Chiefs 5 3 0 2 14
Montpellier 5 2 0 3 13
Glasgow Warriors 5 0 0 5 2
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Munster 5 3 1 1 16
Racing Metro 5 3 0 2 15
Castres 5 2 1 2 12
Leicester Tigers 4 1 0 4 6
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Toulon 5 4 0 1 18
Scarlets 5 3 0 2 17
Bath 5 3 0 2 13
Treviso 5 0 0 5 3