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Scarlets 7 Northampton Saints 24 Scarlets 7 Northampton Saints 24

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Scarlets 7 Northampton Saints 24

Northampton Saints maintained their 100 per cent start to this season’s LV= Cup as second-half tries from Lee Dickson and Calum Clark cemented a 24-7 victory over Scarlets.

Saints had disposed of Newcastle Falcons 37-23 last weekend but were tied 7-7 at half time at Parc y Scarlets as Steffan Evans try cancelled out Howard Packman’s effort.
 
But last year’s defeated finalists stepped it up in the second 40 as England duo Dickson and Clark both stepped off the bench to cross the whitewash, with Will Hooley also calming the nerves with nine points from the tee.
 
The current Aviva Premiership Rugby leaders had been dealt an early blow when Jon Fisher was forced off with an ankle injury inside two minutes to be replaced by Teimana Harrison.
 
However they soon found themselves seven points to the good after ten minutes as a turnover 60m out resulted in Tom Stephenson and Packman exchanging passes before the latter powered over the in corner.
 
Hooley added the extras for the away side, but he was unable to find the target with a penalty soon after, failing to put enough distance on his kick.
 
And Scarlets were soon level as full-back Evans found his way over after Saints had failed to adequately clear their lines.
 
Steven Shingler's conversion meant the scores were level, but the home fly-half's failure to find touch with a penalty almost cost his side dear.
 
Saints won the scrum after the ball had gone dead but Hooley failed to make the most of the award of a tee kick, firing his effort wide.
 
Shingler thought he'd given Scarlets the lead when he scampered in under the posts, but his effort was ruled out for a pull by flanker James Davies in the build-up.
 
The home side had the chance to go in front early in the second half after winning a penalty at a Saints scrum, but Shingler misfired.
 
At the other end, Hooley made a better job of his penalty attempt to put Northampton back in front on 50 minutes.
 
And the away side sought to strengthen their grip on the game by introducing Dickson and Clark.
 
Scarlets were struggling to cope, and they cracked when Dickson used his side's territory to dive over.
 
Hooley made it 17-7 with the conversion and Northampton were soon stretching their lead out of sight as Clark scored in the corner on 66 minutes.

Hooley again landed the kick and Scarlets looked out of it at 17 points down with little more than ten minutes to go.
 
The home side did try to exert some pressure but were held off by strong Saints defending as the visitors claimed the victory.

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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