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Scarlets deliver dominant home display to overcome Edinburgh

By PA
Damien Hoyland of Edinburgh Rugby and Joe Roberts of the Scarlets have a scuffle during the United Rugby Championship match between the Scarlets and Edinburgh Rugby at Parc y Scarlets on February 18, 2023 in Llanelli, Wales. (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)

The Scarlets players put all the contract uncertainty in Welsh rugby behind them to romp to a 42-14 bonus point win at home over Edinburgh.

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The hosts came into the game on the back of a run of seven wins in eight games and demonstrated that confidence with a slick move from a lineout on halfway.

The forwards led the way with a stream of turnovers and penalties to lay the platform, but the Scarlets were also happy to spread the ball wide to create opportunities.

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Blindside wing Steff Evans and full-back Johnny McNicholl created the space on the left for wing Ryan Conbeer, who still had a fair bit to do to muscle his way over the line for the try.

There were no such problems for the second try as flanker Vaea Fifita earned himself a clear 60-yard run to the line after picking off a pass from Edinburgh centre James Lang.

The centre atoned with the break which led to a short-range try for prop Murray McCallum, but it was the home side who finished the half the stronger with lock Sam Lousi offloading for wing Evans to score.

The wing turned provider early in the second half, bumping off the tacklers to send the ball wide for Conbeer to add his second try.

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Confidence oozed from the Scarlets with McNicholl deciding to run from deep, with a chip and chase seeing him past the first defenders, a pass putting Fifita in for a run to the line, before he passed to scrum-half Gareth Davies once over the try line.

Edinburgh did have a spell of pressure which resulted in a try for prop Boan Venter, a predictably short-range effort after number eight Viliame Mata had lured in the defence.

The Scarlets had the last word as they ran through their party pieces in the closing minutes, replacement Eddie James making his debut and scoring a try under the posts.

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Shaylen 2 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

These guys will be utility players Nick it cannot be helped because coaches cannot help themselves. Rassie looks at players like these and sees the ability to cover multiple positions without losing much. It allows the 6-2 or 7-1. He wont change his coaching style or strategy for one player. At provincial level players like these are indispensable. If there is an injury to your starting 12 but your back up 12 is a bit iffy then a coach is going to go with the back up 10 who is gold and who can play a good 12. Damian Willemse for the Springboks is an obvious case, for the Stormers its the same. Dobson plays him at 12 or 15, with Gelant in the team he plays 12 but if Gelant goes down he doesnt go for his back up 15, he just puts Willemse there. With Frawley its the same at international and provincial level. He just slots in wherever. Frans Steyn made a career out of it. He was much maligned though as a youngster as he never fully developed into any role. He then went to Japan and France to decide for himself what kind of player he was, put on muscle and retained his big boot, ran over players and booted the ball long and came back into the Springboks after about 3 years away and was then certain about how he wanted to play the game no matter what position. Coaches cannot help themselves because they only want what is best for their teams and that means putting your most talented players on even if it means you cause them some discomfort. Sometimes players need to decide how they want to play the game and then adapt that to every position and let the coach decide how they want to use them.

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J
Jon 8 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

I think the main problem here is the structure of both countries make up. They are going to have very similar.. obstacles(not problems). It will just be part of the evolution of their rugby and they’ll need to find a way to make this versatility more advantageous than specialization. I think South Africa are well on the way to that end already, but Ireland are more likely to have a hierarchical approach and move players around the provinces. Sopoaga is going to be more than good enough to look up one of those available positions for more than a few years I believe though. Morgan would definitely be a more long term outlook. Sacha to me has the natural footwork of a second five. Not everything is about winning, if a team has 3 players that want to play 10s just give them all a good go even if its to the detriment of everyone, this is also about dreams of the players, not just the fans. This is exactly how it would be in an amateur club setting. Ultimately some players just aren’t suited to any one position. The example was of a guy that had size and speed, enough pace to burn, power to drive, and speed to kick and pass long, but just not much else when it came to actual rugby (that matched it). New Zealand has it’s own example with Jordie Barrett and probably shows what Reece Hodge could have been if the game in Australia had any administration. Despite the bigger abundance of talent in NZ, Jordie was provided with consistent time as a fullback, before being ushered in as a second five. Possibly this was due to his blood, and another might not have been as fortunate, but it is what it was, a complete contrast to how Hodge was used in Australia, were he could have had any position he wanted. When it comes down to it though, much like these young fellas, it will be about what they want, and I think you’ll find they’ll be like Hodge and just want to be as valuable to the team as they can and play wherever. It’s not like 63 International Cap is a hard thing to live with as a result of that decision!

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