Youngster Ellis Jenkins scored Cardiff Blues’ only try as they picked up a narrow win over Scarlets in the LV=Cup.
A nip and tuck first-half at Cardiff Arms Park was edged by the home side but they were given plenty to think about by Scarlets who took an early second-half lead when Sion Bennett crashed over.
But Jenkins’ try proved vital as the Blues snatched the win from their resilient countrymen to move them above Sale Sharks in Pool 2.
With wins in both of their opening matches Cardiff narrowly trail Northampton Saints but it was a shaky start for them as the visitors came out of the blocks fastest in the Welsh capital with Josh Lewis attempting to get Scarlets on the board early with an optimistic drop goal that flew wide.
But he was on target a minute later as he slotted home a third-minute penalty to give Scarlets the lead.
The home side were level soon after though – Simon Humberstone converting a penalty of his own before missing the chance to add another three moments later.
Lewis had his own chance to restore Scarlets’ lead shortly before the half-hour mark but watched as his effort flew narrowly wide of the uprights.
But the scores weren’t level for long and an alert break from Tavis Knoyle led to a penalty and gave Humberstone the chance to make amends for his earlier miss.
And Humberstone was in the thick of the action moments later as the Blues looked to extend their lead – the fly-half breaking into space after Dan Fish’s interception but they were unable to capitalise on the opening.
The home side did extend their lead on 37 minutes though and once again it was thanks to the boot of Humberstone after Scarlets were penalised for not rolling away.
But Scarlets refused to let the half slip away and Lewis got them back within three shortly before the whistle.
And they came out the blocks in emphatic fashion with a well-placed kick in behind that bounced to Bennett who crashed over and Lewis duly converted for a 13-9 lead.
However, the Blues began to apply the pressure and they looked for the corner after winning a penalty deep in Scarlets territory.
The pressure eventually told for Cardiff and they restored their lead when, following solid work from the line out, Tom Williams found Jenkins who was able to run over in the corner – Humberstone tagging on the extras.
With several young replacements on both sides it was the Blues who looked the more likely as they looked to put the game to bed.
Scarlets showed their resilience however and just three points separated the sides heading into the closing stages.
But Blues had their rewards with less than ten minutes remaining when Bennett was yellow carded and the home side had a penalty in front of the posts.
Replacement Will Thomas dispatched the kick for his first points of the night and opened up a six-point gap for Blues.
Scarlets failed to conjure up and response and the kick was enough to make sure of victory.
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