Fourteen-man Scarlets sneak dramatic late winner
PRO14 MATCH REPORT: Josh Macleod's dramatic last-gasp score sent Scarlets back to the top of Conference B with a hard-fought Welsh derby victory over Ospreys.
Needing a try to win the match, a kick over the top fell perfectly to the replacement, who gleefully charged over the line in a sensational finale for the sold-out Parc y Scarlets crowd.
The champions had to do it with 14 men too, with Steff Evans sent off for a tackle in the air after he had scored what had been the game's only try.
Ospreys, bottom of Conference A, had threatened to upset the formbook, but three Sam Davies penalties were not quite enough to pick up a third win of the Pro14 season.
The persistent rain made it difficult for either side to play running rugby as the scoreboard was unmoved in the early stages, despite Leigh Halfpenny's best efforts from the tee.
But Scarlets did take the lead with some neat work, first forcing their visitors to knock-on in their own in-goal area for a five-metre scrum.
From there they made the pressure count, the ball falling loose at the base of the scrum to allow scrumhalf Gareth Davies to find Evans to weave his way over the line for the first points.
It seemed the score would remain that way to the break, but Sam Davies got his side back in contention with a penalty, the first successful kick of the match to narrow the gap to two points.
By that time Scarlets had seen their numbers diminish, try-scorer Evans going for a high-ball but colliding with counterpart Ben John in the air to find himself sent-off.
With numerical advantage, Ospreys started on the front foot in the second half and took the lead for the first time in the match with 51 minutes on the clock, Davies kicking his second penalty of the contest for a 6-5 scoreline.
From attack came very important defence for the side bottom of Conference A of the Pro14, but standing firm and keeping Scarlets at bay seemed to give the visiting side lots of confidence.
That was rewarded with three more points, again from Davies, with Justin Tipuric the man to thank after isolating the home defence, the gap now extended to four, crucial points heading into the last 20 minutes.
That was how it stayed heading into the final ten minutes, with Scarlets pulling the rabbit out of the hat with Macleod's late try, duly converted by Halfpenny to take the Welsh outfit back above Leinster in Conference B.
Tries:S Evans, Macleod
Pens:S Davies 3
Red card: Steff Evans (Scarlets, 36)
Scarlets: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Scott Williams, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Dan Jones, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 John Barclay, 7 James Davies, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Tadhg Beirne, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Ken Owens (captain), 1 Rob Evans.
Replacements: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Simon Gardiner, 19 Steven Cummins, 20 Josh Macleod, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Rhys Patchell, 23 Paul Asquith.
Ospreys: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Ben John, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Owen Watkin, 11 Jeff Hassler, 10 Sam Davies, 9 Tom Habberfield, 8 Olly Cracknell, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Dmitri Arhip, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Nicky Smith.
Replacements: 16 Scott Otten, 17 Paul James, 18 Ma'afu Fia, 19 Adam Beard, 20 Rob McCusker, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Dan Biggar, 23 Ashley Beck.
Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)
Assistant referees: Ben Whitehouse, Craig Evans (Wales)
TMO: Tim Hayes (Wales)