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Scarlets 40 Leicester Tigers 19

03 Feb 2013
Scarlets 40 Leicester Tigers 19

Owen Williams’ inspired kicking display proved vital as Scarlets finished off their LV= Cup campaign with a 40-19 win against defending champions Leicester Tigers.

Sale Sharks’ bonus-point win on Saturday had rendered this clash at the Parc y Scarlets something of a dead rubber with neither side having a chance of progressing to the semi-finals.

But there was no lack of a competitive edge in a game that featured four yellow cards and it was the unerring right boot of Williams and late scores from Andy Fenby, Gareth Owen and Nick Reynolds that sealed the victory.

Williams, who has impressed for Llanelli this season, started at fly-half ahead of Aled Thomas and slotted seven penalties in all for a 21-point haul.

The Tigers meanwhile were left to rue their indiscipline as they ran in three tries of their own but were still comfortably defeated on Welsh soil.

Williams started the theme of the afternoon in the seventh minute with his first penalty but the lead lasted for less than five minutes.

Thomas Waldrom, released for weekend club action by England, barged his way over at the back of a maul after a finely-executed catch and drive from a lineout.

But Matt Cornwell missed with the conversion meaning that Williams’ second penalty put the Welsh region back in front at 6-5 with a quarter of an hour gone.

Indeed by the 22nd minute Williams had added his third and fourth penalties as the Tigers struggled with the referee’s interpretation of offside to leave them trailing by 12 points to five.

But by the half hour the Tigers pack had begun to assert themselves and after one infringement too many Emyr Phillips, captaining the Scarlets for the first time, was sent to the sin bin.

A minute later and the Welsh region were down to 13 men after Fenby was given ten minutes in the bin for an intentional knock on when a Tigers try on the overlap down the right looked a certainty.

With their two-man numerical advantage it did not take long for Tigers to turn the screw and a penalty try at scrum time levelled up proceedings at 12-12, Cornwell with the extras.

But the expected Tigers onslaught did not materialise after that and in fact it was Scarlets who re-took the lead in the 35th minute, Williams again unerring with his fifth penalty of the half.

With Scarlets returned to their full complement the score looked set to stay the same until the interval but on the stroke of the break Andy Forsyth went over in the left corner to put the Tigers back in front, Cornwell again converting to go in 19-15 to the good.

After the break another Williams penalty, in the 45th minute, closed the gap to 19-18 and by the hour mark they were back in front, Williams again making no mistake from straight in front.

On 63 minutes Leicester’s Rob Andrew was the third player to be sent to the sin bin and he was swiftly followed by Fraser Balmain, on as a front row replacement for Boris Stankovich, as the Tigers scrum began to break.

But Thomas, on as a replacement for Williams, dragged the subsequent penalty wide to keep the lead down at only two points.

In the last ten minutes however Scarlets made the most of their two-man advantage as Fenby raced clear down the left for their first try of the match.

Owen then jinked his way under the posts before Reynolds tip-toed along the left touchline to seal the victory for Easterby’s side.  

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