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Zebre's fast start trumped by Gareth Davies double in Scarlets win

By PA
Dwayne Peel, Head Coach of Scarlets, looks on prior to the EPCR Challenge Cup match between Scarlets and Black Lion at Parc y Scarlets on December 15, 2023 in Llanelli, Wales. (Photo by Ryan Hiscott/Getty Images)

Gareth Davies ran in two of Scarlets’ four tries as they picked up a fourth win of the season with a 32-18 bonus-point victory over Zebre Parma at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi.

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Ryan Elias and Tomi Lewis also went over for the Welsh Region, with Ioan Lloyd adding three conversions and Sam Costelow sending over a pair of penalties.

Giovanni Licata and Mohamed Hasa were the try-scorers for the Italians, with Giovanni Montemauri converting one and adding two penalties.

The home side made a quick start and were rewarded when captain Licata picked the ball up from the back of a ruck and powered through a couple of weak Scarlets tackles to touch down under the posts and Montemauri added the simple conversion.

But Scarlets responded and, after knocking on the door and being continually held up over the line five metres out, the forwards kept battling away and Elias powered his way over from close range. Lloyd could not convert from out on the right.

Attack

109
Passes
170
96
Ball Carries
123
234m
Post Contact Metres
245m
5
Line Breaks
6

The Scarlets then went ahead midway through the second half when quick hands down the right opened up the Zebre defence.

Taine Plumtree’s superb offload found Lewis, who ploughed down the wing and drew his tackler before a simple inside pass to the supporting Davies saw the scrum-half run in for an easy try.

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But a pair of Montemauri penalties saw the home side retake the lead in an end-to-end contest.

Davies ran in for his second try after intercepting a poor pass from Montemauri and running in unopposed from 50 metres out.

The bonus point was secured for the visitors when quick hands again stretched the Zebre back line and Lewis slid in to score.

But Zebre would not go away and they got themselves back into the game when Hasa bundled his way over in the corner after a charged down kick had created the platform.

Two late Costelow penalties put the game to bed.

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