Edinburgh went back to the top of Guinness PRO14 Conference B after putting in a strong defensive effort to stop Scarlets in a hard-fought 14-9 win at Parc-y-Scarlets.

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Wing Duhan van der Merwe scored a try and created a second for centre Mike Scott despite Edinburgh having to defend in their 22 for large periods of the game.

Scarlets’ points came from three Dan Jones penalties which helped them secure a losing bonus point. The win was Edinburgh’s fifth consecutive victory over the Scarlets.

Scarlets were boosted by the inclusion of Wales squad flanker Aaron Shingler while prop Rob Evans came on at half-time. Samoa centre Kieron Fonotia made his first appearance since last November after recovering from a calf problem.

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Edinburgh, who had beaten Scarlets 46-7 earlier in the season, deserved their 14-6 half-time lead thanks to pieces of magic from van der Merwe.

Despite the presence of Storm Dennis, the South African wing showed what was possible with ball in hand as he ran in from halfway eluding four Scarlet defenders. Van der Walt converted in front of the posts to give the Scotsmen a deserved lead.

Scarlets dominated first-half possession but did not help themselves that they lost three of their first four lineouts and were also under pressure in the scrum. But they edged their way back into the contest with penalties for outside-half Jones.

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However, a minute from the interval, just as Scarlets got themselves within a point of Edinburgh, Van der Merwe came off his wing at a scrum, burst through and put Scott over under the posts. Van der Walt converted.

Despite playing against a strong wind, Scarlets made an encouraging start to the second half with Jones converting his second penalty in the 48th minute.

Scarlets did have their chances and good positions in Edinburgh’s 22. The best chance came when Steff Hughes broke through but was scythed down by man of the match Viliame Mata.

– Press Association 

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