Scarlets stand-in Jones shines

Fri, 03 Nov 2017 22:31
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PRO14 MATCH REPORT: Dan Jones emerged the victor in the battle of the flyhalves at Parc y Scarlets, scoring 15 points to Ian McKinley's eight to claim a win for the hosts.

Stepping in for Rhys Patchell while Scarlet's first-choice flyhalf is away on national duty, Jones' quick-thinking saw him score the first try of the match.

All Scarlets' points belonged to the No.10 in the first half, but McKinley gave hope to the visitors with a try of his own after the break.

Jones showed his vision once more, sending a kick through for skipper Scott Williams to claim an unrecoverable lead.

The flyhalf got Scarlets on the scoreboard with a penalty early on and his accuracy from the tee was unwavering as the match continued.

Then Wayne Pivac's men spread the Treviso defence, creating width out of the scrum and Jones was the man to go over - giving a dummy pass before stepping through a gap in the wall of green.

But McKinley, named in the Italy squad for the first time last month, kept the visitors in it with a first-half penalty.

As the half-time whistle approached, Scarlets hovered on the five-metre line, but in the end they settled for just a penalty - with Jones on target once more.

Benetton never really threatened to take the win, with the men in red buoyed by the return of Williams, Hadleigh Parkes and John Barclay - who were released from their respective national sides for the match.

But McKinley found a moment of magic and seemed to repel Scarlets tackles as he dashed through their defensive line to steal the first points after the break.

Williams' try in the 66th minute proved decisive, though, and Scarlets continued their unbeaten Pro14 run which dates back to September's defeat at the hands of Ulster.

And the ten changes made to Kieran Crowley's side after last week's loss to Edinburgh made little difference as the Italian team failed to secure a second away win of the season.

The victory keeps Scarlets at the top of Conference B and the Welsh team now heads to South Africa to take on Southern Kings and Cheetahs.

The scorers:

For Scarlets:
Tries:
D Jones, Williams
Cons: D Jones 2
Pens: D Jones 2

For Benetton:
Try:
McKinley
Pen: McKinley

Yellow card: Andrea Bronzini (Benetton, 57)

Teams:

Scarlets: 15 Johnny McNicholl, 14 Tom Prydie, 13 Hadleigh Parkes, 12 Scott Williams (captain), 11 Paul Asquith, 10 Dan Jones, 9 Jonathan Evans, 8 John Barclay, 7 Will Boyde, 6 Tadhg Beirne, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Lewis Rawlins, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Dylan Evans.
Replacements: 16 Taylor Davies, 17 Rhys Fawcett, 18 Simon Gardiner, 19 Tom Price, 20 Josh Macleod, 21 Declan Smith, 22 Rhys Jones, 23 Steff Hughes.

Benetton: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Angelo Esposito, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Ignacio Brex, 11 Andrea Bronzini, 10 Ian McKinley, 9 Giorgio Bronzini, 8 Robert Barbieri (captain), 7 Nasi Manu, 6 Whetu Douglas, 5 Federico Ruzza, 4 Alessandro Zanni, 3 Tiziano Pasquali, 2 Tomas Baravalle, 1 Cherif Traore.
Replacements: 16 Federico Zani, 17 Alberto De Marchi, 18 Filippo Filippetto, 19 Marco Lazzaroni, 20 Sebastian Negri, 21 Edoardo Gori, 22 Alberto Sgarbi, 23 Luca Sperandio.

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Joy Neville (Ireland), Justin Williams (Ireland)
TMO: Tim Hayes (Wales)

Source: @PRO14Official

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Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 8 8 0 0 38
Munster 8 5 0 3 26
Cheetahs 8 4 0 4 20
Connacht 8 3 0 5 16
Cardiff Blues 8 3 0 5 15
Zebre 8 2 0 6 12
Ospreys 8 2 0 6 11
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Scarlets 8 7 0 1 34
Ulster 8 6 0 2 28
Leinster 8 6 0 2 27
Edinburgh 8 5 0 3 23
Treviso 8 3 0 5 14
Dragons 8 2 0 6 10
Kings 8 0 0 8 2