Scarlets thump Cardiff as rugby returns to Wales after 169-day break
Rugby finally returned to Wales after a break of 169 days and it was business as usual for the Scarlets as they completed a Guinness PRO14 double over Cardiff Blues at Parc y Scarlets, winning 32-12.
It took the home side a mere four minutes to get back in the groove when they worked flanker Ed Kennedy over for the opening try in the left corner. Moments earlier the back row man had been hauled down five metres short by Blues full-back Hallam Amos.
Back came the Scarlets and some fast feet from Steff Evans opened up a gap for new signing Johnny Williams to race 20 metres deep into the Blues’ 22. Leigh Halfpenny then picked out Kennedy with a long pass and he opened the scoring.
Halfpenny was wide with the conversion and then struck the upright with a penalty off the ten-metre line as the pressure built on the visitors.
The Blues managed to hold up a driving lineout and then stole a Scarlets throw, but when Evans charged down a kick up the field by Harri Millard on the Blues’ ten-metre line, all he had to do was kick and control the ball for the second try.
The heavens have opened, and so have the floodgates ?@scarlets_rugby go from one try line to the other in lightning speed with Johnny McNicholl finishing it off ?
— PRO14 RUGBY (@PRO14Official) August 22, 2020
This time Halfpenny hit the mark and the Scarlets were twelve points to the good midway through the opening period. Just as it was starting to look ominous for the Blues, they stole another lineout and worked the ball from left to right and back again to give Josh Adams the chance to race to the posts for a good try in response.
Jarrod Evans added the extras and it was game on again. Halfpenny then kicked a penalty to make it 15-7 at the break.
The Blues had a terrible ten minutes at the start of the second half as they lost Wales scrum-half Tomos Williams with a shoulder injury, conceded a kick-and-chase try to the fleet-footed Evans and then lost skipper Josh Turnbull to the sin bin for a cynical breakdown penalty.
The Scarlets scored twice while he was away, through new lock Sam Lousi and Wales wing Johnny McNicholl, and it was all over. The Blues picked up a consolation try from Matthew Morgan, but they were well beaten in the end.
“It’s going to be a challenge to get it right in the short term for players and officials"https://t.co/bNjIGHdUmR
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) August 22, 2020
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