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Scotland captain Ritchie scores as Edinburgh earn draw in thriller with Scarlets

By PA
Jamie Ritchie has got the go-ahead to fly to Japan and join up with Scotland (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

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Wales scrum-half Kieran Hardy crossed twice for Scarlets but two converted tries for Edinburgh in the last four minutes forced a 28-28 draw in an entertaining finale to the season at Parc-y-Scarlets.

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A crowd of just over 1,000 were present to see Scarlets fail to avenge their 6-3 home defeat at the hands of the Scots back in November during the regular Guinness PRO14 campaign. It was the first time fans had been admitted into Parc-y-Scarlets since the Southern Kings fixture in February 2020.

Tom Rogers and Dafydd Hughes also scored tries for Scarlets, with Dan Jones and Sam Costelow both converting two.

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Marshall Sykes, Jamie Ritchie, Jack Blain and Boan Venter scored Edinburgh’s tries as Blair Kinghorn and Nathan Chamberlain converted two apiece.

Scarlets had the first chance for points but turned down a kickable penalty in favour of an attacking line-out and they were rewarded with the opening try.

From the line-out they moved the ball wide for Rogers to send Hardy over with an inside pass, a conversion from Jones then giving his side a 7-0 lead at the end of an enterprising and evenly contested opening quarter.

Yet Edinburgh looked the more potent attackers, with centres James Johnstone and Cameron Hutchison regularly testing the home defence. On a couple of occasions the Scots were only denied by a lack of accuracy with their final pass.

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After 24 minutes they deservedly drew level when lock Sykes finished off a succession of forward drives, but within five minutes Scarlets were back in front.

From just inside the opposition half, Hardy took a quick tap penalty to dart away before sending Rogers on a 30-metre run to the line, with a conversion from Jones giving Scarlets a 14-7 half-time advantage.

Four minutes after the restart, the hosts introduced Wales prop Samson Lee for his first game since December. Lee replaced Pieter Scholtz who, along with centre Tyler Morgan and number eight Uzair Cassiem, was making his final appearance for Scarlets.

The home side suffered a blow when lock Morgan Jones was sin-binned for a dangerous clear-out on Edinburgh’s flanker Connor Boyle and the Scots immediately capitalised when captain Ritchie crashed over from close range.

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Kieran Hardy (PA)

Scarlets returned to a full complement of 15 with no further damage to the scoreboard before their opponents lost a man to the bin when their wing Blain took out Steff Evans in an aerial collision.

The hosts took full advantage with some neat handling to send Hardy over for his second before Hughes finishing off a driving line-out and the game looked up for Edinburgh.

However Blain returned from the bin to score before, with the last play of the game, Venter forced his way over to earn Edinburgh a deserved draw.

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Scotland captain Ritchie scores as Edinburgh earn draw in thriller with Scarlets

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