Scarlets teach Kings a 57-point lesson

Sat, 02 Sep 2017 18:00
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PRO14 MATCH REPORT: The defending champion Scarlets taught the Southern Kings a very big lesson - with a 57-10 victory in their Round One match in Llanelli on Saturday.

After a promising start - the Kings held a 7-5 lead at the end of the first quarter and trailed just 10-15 at the half-time break - the Scarlets took control in the second half and scored 42 unanswered points to take the match away from the visitors.

The eight tries to one victory was a fine indicator of how tough it will be to dethrone the Scarlets will be to

Leigh Halfpenny marked his return to Wales with a try.

It took eight minutes for Scarlets to carve open their Southern Hemisphere opponents, when the fiery Johnny McNicholl exquisitely dived over in the corner following a blistering break from scrumhalf Gareth Davies.

Halfpenny, who drew the last tackler before offloading to McNicholl, could not add the extras.

But the Kings came roaring back through Yaw Penxe after the wing – who had earlier been denied after a try-saving tackle from Steff Evans – latched onto a beautifully weighted kick from flyhalf Kurt Coleman to touch down.

The Scarlets responded through a prolonged period of possession in the Kings' 22, before Rhys Patchell floated the ball to Halfpenny, who bundled over in the corner.

In a pulsating first-half, the Kings would not let up and reduced the deficit to just two points through a Coleman penalty after an infringement on Rossouw de Klerk.

While Scarlets showcased more threatening attacking prowess, it was flyhalf Coleman who dictated large periods of the game, exploiting an occasionally flat Scarlets defence.

But the flyhalf's kick was cancelled out by Halfpenny moments later to maintain the home side's slim advantage.

It was end-to-end action as the Kings nearly responded through Sibusiso Sithole, who would have crossed the whitewash had it not been for the try-saving heroics of Hadleigh Parkes, who pushed the South African into touch to end an entertaining first-half.

But after the break, the Welsh outfit showcased more expansive rugby as their Southern Hemisphere counterparts found themselves on the receiving end for much of the second period.

Scarlets began to look the fitter side when, from a penalty line-out, Scott Williams perfectly decoyed his opposite man to allow Patchell to charge over the whitewash.

With daylight now between the two sides, the former Cardiff Blues flyhalf converted his own try to lead 22-10.

And it was only a matter of time before Scarlets grabbed the bonus-point when James Davies broke wide and efficiently recycled to Jake Ball, who charged over.

And substitute Emyr Phillips added a fifth after a catch-and-drive saw the Scarlets power over again, with the boot of Halfpenny converting as the Kings struggled to gain any possession.

Parkes, playing against his former side, added to the rout after 70 minutes, with Patchell easily converting in front of the posts.

And McNicholl grabbed his second and his side's seventh try minutes later as McNicholl – who carried tremendously all game – stormed over in a move which the wing implemented from his own half.

The last few moments saw Steff Evans, who had been industrious all game, join in on the fun to cap off Scarlet's perfect start to retaining their title.

Man of the match: Yaw Penxe excited with his pace, Kurt Coleman showed some early promise and Andisa Ntsila worked really hard. Rhys Patchell was great in patches, Leigh Halfpenny showed his class and Johnny McNicholl showed what a valuable signing he is for the Scarlets. However, it is a former Kings player, Scarlets centre Hadleigh Parkes, that wins our award for his great creative skills.

The scorers:

For Scarlets:
McNicholl 2, Halfpenny, Patchell, Ball, Phillips, Parks, Evans
Cons: Halfpenny 3, Patchell 4
Pen: Halfpenny

For the Southern Kings:
Con: Coleman
Pen: Coleman


Scarlets: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Hadleigh Parkes, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 John Barclay (captain), 7 James Davies, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Tadhg Beirne, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Rob Evans.
Replacements: 16 Emyr Phillips, 17 Dylan Evans, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 David Bulbring, 20 Will Boyde, 21 Jonathan Evans, 22 Rhys Jones, 23 Paul Asquith.

Southern Kings: 15 Masixole Banda, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Luzuko Vulindlu, 11 Sibusiso Sithole, 10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Rudi van Rooyen, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Victor Sekekete, 6 Khaya Majola, 5 Dries van Schalkwyk, 4 Jurie van Vuuren, 3 Rossouw de Klerk, 2 Michael Willemse (captain), 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Luvuyo Pupuma, 18 Etienne Swanepoel, 19 Bobby de Wee, 20 Siyabulela Mdaka, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Ntabeni Dukisa, 23 Jacques Nel.

Referee: Frank Murphy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Sean Gallagher (Ireland), Wayne Davies (Wales)
TMO: Olly Hodges (Ireland)

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Fri, 23 March 2018
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Connacht v Edinburgh 19h35 Sportsground
Dragons v Cheetahs 19h35 Rodney Parade
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 19h35 Scotstoun
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Kings v Treviso 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 16 13 1 2 65
Munster 17 10 0 7 54
Cheetahs 17 9 0 8 47
Cardiff Blues 17 9 0 8 42
Connacht 17 6 0 11 33
Ospreys 16 6 0 10 30
Zebre 16 4 0 12 22
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 17 13 1 3 64
Scarlets 17 12 1 4 61
Edinburgh 17 12 0 5 55
Ulster 16 9 1 6 46
Treviso 17 8 0 9 40
Dragons 17 2 2 13 17
Kings 17 1 0 16 9