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Match Reaction: Scarlets 7 Northampton Saints 24

Match Reaction: Scarlets 7 Northampton Saints 24

Northampton Saints defence coach Alan Dickens admitted it was job done as a second-half push from his side saw off Scarlets 24-7 to make it two wins from two in this season’s LV= Cup.

Last year’s defeated finalists had been tying seven apiece at half time as Steffan Evans’ converted try cancelled out Howard Packman’s earlier effort.

But Saints were able to turn to an impressive array of reinforcements on their bench after the break which included Lee Dickson and Calum Clark – both of whom were released by England head coach Stuart Lancaster this week.

And they both made their point on the pitch, crossing the whitewash to calm Saints’ nerves and leave the side in winning form heading into the return of the Aviva Premiership next weekend.

“Any win in Wales is tough to come by. They're a proud side, the Scarlets, and they showed that tonight,” said Dickens, who sees his side host Exeter Chiefs next Friday.

"They've got young players who are on trial from around the region and they showed they wanted to fight for that jersey.

"We were probably a little bit frustrated we didn't come away with that bonus point.

"In the LV, you don't quite know what players you'll be up against so you play what turns up on the night really.

"We tightened things up in the second half and it was really good for all of our lads. It was a great experience of a win in Wales.

"We've won three games on the bounce and we want to take that momentum into the Premiership in the next few weeks.”

The result was a hard one to take for Scarlets who had put in an encouraging first-half showing against the reigning Aviva Premiership champions.

But with the Saints stepping it up a notch after the break, Scarlets coach Ioan Cunningham was left to rue his side’s indiscipline.

“We were encouraged at half-time considering the amount of errors we made in the first half,” he said.

“We were excited going out to the second half to correct those errors and get some tempo and urgency into our game.

“We just made too many mistakes and our discipline was poor, I think the penalty count was something like 19 to seven which didn’t help and they camped down in our half for a period and we gave them too many opportunities to score a driving line-out which we did.

“It was hard in that second half to get any sort of foothold in the game, we tried late on to get that tempo into our game which shows what we can do with a bit of urgency in our game.”

Scorers
 
Scarlets
Tries: Evans
Conversions: Shingler
 
Northampton Saints
Tries: Packman, Dickson, Clark
Conversions: Hooley (3)
Penalties: Hooley
 
Referee: Tom Foley
Attendance: 5,564
 
Scarlets: Evans; Williams, Hughes, Owen (Lewis 69), Climo (Warren 75); Shingler, Hardy (Davies 61); John (Jones W 61), Myhill (Elias 74), Edwards (Adriaanse 52), Jones S (Bennett 71), Earle (Day 69), McCusker, Davies, Pitman
 
Northampton Saints: Wilson (Foden 61); Packman, Stephenson, Waldouck, Collins; Hooley (Mallinder 67), Hodgson (Dickson 52); Waller E (Waller A 53), McMillan (Williams 62), Mercey (Ma’afu 58), Woolford, Day, Dowson, Nutley, Fisher (Harrison 2) (Clark 53))
 

For your definitive guide to the LV= Cup click here 

Be part of the rugby family at the LV= Cup Final at Franklin's Gardens, Northampton on Sunday 22 March. Visit www.northamptonsaints.co.uk for tickets
 

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