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Dragons stun Scarlets with thrilling win in Llanelli

By PA
(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

The Dragons secured only their second victory of the season as they beat the Scarlets 38-27 in Llanelli, denting the west Wales region’s hopes of reaching the United Rugby Championship play-offs.

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Tries from Jack Dixon, Taine Basham, Jared Rosser, Taylor Davies and Rhodri Williams, along with 13 points from the boot of Sam Davies secured the win, with the fly-half becoming only the fourth man to surpass 1,000 points in the history of the URC under its various guises.

The Scarlets scored four tries of their own courtesy of Sione Kalamafoni, Liam Williams, Johnny Williams and Kieran Hardy, with Sam Costelow and Angus O’Brien kicking seven points between them.

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The Scarlets, who had won their last three matches and were looking to close within a point of the play-off positions, found themselves temporarily reduced to 13 men within the first 10 minutes as both Jonathan Davies and Steff Evans were given yellow cards.

Davies was given his marching orders for a late tackle on Josh Lewis while attempting a charge down, and Evans was sin-binned for killing the ball.

Dixon powered through Tomas Lezana for the Dragons’ first try, before Kalamafoni powered over from short range to bring the Scarlets back into the game.

Aaron Wainwright then broke clear off the back of a retreating scrum to put the visitors into the Scarlets 22, with Taine Basham bumping off two defenders to score.

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Dwayne Peel’s side hit back on the stroke of half-time with a well-worked try.

Some beautiful handling from Costelow, Corey Baldwin and Lezana resulted in Liam Williams crossing for a try at the far right-hand corner to give the hosts a 15-14 lead at the interval.

The Dragons began the second half like a house on fire and scored almost immediately when Dixon put Rosser over.

The Scarlets hit back with an outrageous try. A long pass from Wales full-back Williams set Baldwin free down the touchline. He could not quite make the line but had the presence of mind to pass the ball inside to Williams, who caught it on his shoelaces and flicked the ball inside for Johnny Williams to score.

The Scarlets had the bit between their teeth and claimed their bonus-point try when Jonathan Davies put Kieran Hardy over.

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The Dragons refused to throw in the towel and laid siege to the Scarlets line in the closing stages of the game.

They worked an overlap and Baldwin deliberately knocked the ball forward, which meant he spent the rest of the game in the sin bin.

The Dragons quickly capitalised as Taylor Davies powered over off the back of their driving line-out before Rhodri Williams sealed the win with their fifth try.

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