Davis seals bonus-point win for Scarlets
PRO14 REPORT: Gareth Davies shone for Scarlets, dancing through the Edinburgh defence to lay on a try for Rhys Patchell before scoring one of his own as the hosts claimed a 28-8 victory.
Jason Harries was just as fleet-footed though, eventually finding a way through a Scarlets line which seemed impenetrable for most of the first half.
But the Scarlets extended their lead through Werner Kruger as Richard Cockerill’s men sought a third straight victory on the road.
And a team try earned the Welsh side a bonus point, bringing them up to second in Conference B, with Aaron Shingler the man to go over after deft offloading from his teammates.
Both sides came into the game hungry for a win after suffering their first defeats of the season last weekend, but were left frustrated and without a try after 19 minutes of play.
A swift pick and go from Davies helped Patchell across the whitewash to break the deadlock and Leigh Halfpenny stepped up to slot the conversion.
Davies soon claimed five points himself, as the scrum-half evaded the grasp of Edinburgh’s Ben Toolis to take Scarlets further ahead.
Edinburgh eventually got on the board in the 36th minute thanks to a Duncan Weir penalty, but swift line speed from last season’s champions kept the visitors far from the try-line.
But Edinburgh centre Harries finally made it across after captain Magnus Bradbury created space, barrelling his way through the line to take the visitors in six points down at half time.
Scarlets were full of flair after the break, with Patchell sending a cross-field kick right to Johnny McNicholl before sending one left to Stef Evans moments later.
The first went long and the second was on target, but Evans could not get the offload away in time and Edinburgh quickly shut down the hosts’ attack.
Scarlets were awarded for their efforts when Kruger grabbed the ball at the breakdown and powered through the black shirts to dot down.
Captain Ken Owens followed this up as he led from the front with a dominant carry, flooring Edinburgh defenders and thundering down the pitch to the 22.
But it was Will Boyde’s run which got the bonus-point attack on the go, as the ball passed through almost every Scarlets player’s hands to send Shingler over in the corner.
Tries:Patchell, Davies, Kruger, Shingler
Cons: Halfpenny 4
Red card: Michele Rizzo (Edinburgh, 45)
Scarlets: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Johnny Mcnicholl, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 John Barclay, 7 Will Boyde, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Tadhg Beirne, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Ken Owens (captain), 1 Rob Evans.
Replacements: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 David Bulbring, 20 Josh Macleod, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Rhys Jones, 23 Paul Asquith.
Edinburgh: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Tom Brown, 13 Chris Dean, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Jason Harries, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Nathan Fowles, 8 Magnus Bradbury (captain), 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Jamie Ricthie, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 4 Ben Toolis, 3 WP Nel, 2 Stuart McInally, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Ross Ford, 17 Darryl Marfo, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Fraser McKenzie, 20 John Hardie, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Jason Tovey, 23 Robbie Fruean.
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: David Wilkinson (Ireland), Gwyn Morris (Wales)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)