Scarlets scrape win against Dragons

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TRIES by Gareth Maule and Morgan Stoddart helped Scarlets to a scrappy RaboDirect PRO12 victory over Newport Gwent Dragons at Parc y Scarlets.

Steffan Jones gave the Dragons the lead on 10 minutes with a 45-metre penalty, which was cancelled out by Aled Thomas six minutes later.

An incisive break by in-form full-back Liam Williams led to another penalty goal. Although Thomas’s kick hit a post and failed to go over, quick-thinking Maule followed up the loose ball to score in the left corner, with Thomas adding the extras.

That lead was extended as Thomas added further three-pointers on 34 and 38 minutes as the Scarlets eased into a 16-3 advantage.

The Dragons responded with 10 unanswered points after the break. Tom Prydie put over a penalty and that was followed by a try for Adam Hughes, which Prydie converted.

But the Dragons comeback was nipped in the bud when scrum-half Jonathan Evans was sin-binned for a tackle off the ball, allowing replacement fly-half Priestland to put over a penalty on 66 minutes. And 10 minutes from full-time Stoddart ran in for Scarlets’ second and decisive try.

• In last night’s other matches, Ulster defeated Connacht 25-0, while Ospreys won against Zebre 34-16.