Scarlets secured a record 44-0 win over Ospreys to move into second place in Conference B of the Guinness PRO14.
Two tries each from wings Steffan Evans and Ryan Conbeer along with a further scores from Kieran Hardy and Josh Macleod condemned the Ospreys to their 10th consecutive defeat. Leigh Halfpenny and Angus O’Brien also kicked 14 points between them.
On the same day they announced their signing of Liam Williams, Scarlets made a purposeful start with some terrific interplay between backs and forwards stretching the Ospreys defence allowing Halfpenny to kick them into an early lead. And the visitors were dealt an early blow when Wales centre Scott Williams was forced off the field after taking a bang to the head.
Scarlets claimed the first try after 25 minutes with a well-timed pop pass from O’Brien sending Aaron Shingler clear. The athletic blindside raced into the Ospreys’ 22 before drawing his man to put Evans over with Halfpenny converting.
Brad Mooar’s side were in complete control, with a 40-metre dash from Jake Ball ensuring they stayed on the front foot, allowing Halfpenny to extend their lead with another successful penalty. Scarlets’ transition from defence into attack was extremely effective and a terrific 50-metre break from Hadleigh Parkes cut the Ospreys defence apart.
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A last-gasp ankle tap from James Hook put Parkes to ground but the ball was quickly recycled with a cross-kick from O’Brien finding Conbeer in space. The Wales under-20s wing cut inside two defenders to claim their second try, with Halfpenny’s conversion giving Scarlets a 20-0 lead at the interval.
After 10 sloppy minutes of the second half, Scarlets took control again when Conbeer sliced through the visiting defence. He galloped towards the line but was stopped in his tracks by Luke Morgan. Referee Craig Evans decided to make use of the television match official and Morgan was given a yellow card for a high tackle on Conbeer. The hosts took immediate advantage, with O’Brien sending Conbeer over at the far right-hand corner.
"My boy was playing under-11s rugby and we could barely get nine or ten players to come out and play whereas with football they were scratching two sides together." @ShaneWilliams11 talks regional rugby decline with @heagneyl ???https://t.co/opEhls2mH2
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) December 1, 2019
Scarlets secured the try bonus point on the hour mark with yet another cross-kick from O’Brien taken by Evans, who touched down for his second try. The floodgates opened as O’Brien sent Conbeer clear before replacement scrum-half Hardy crept in at the corner, with Halfpenny converting.
Macleod claimed their sixth try with a great finish at the far left-hand corner courtesy of a neat pass from Ryan Lamb, with O’Brien kicking the conversion from the touchline. Scarlets were forced to defend in the closing stages of the game, with Jake Ball and Werner Kruger being booked after they illegally took down a driving lineout.
– Press Association
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