Dragons 20 - 28 Scarlets

Match info: Guinness PRO12 at Rodney Parade, Newport

Date: 30/03/2013 KO: 14:30

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

Dragons

TriesEvans (36) Evans (75)ConversionsPrydie (36, 75)PenaltiesPrydie (40, 56)

20
vs
28

Scarlets

TriesNorth (26, 68) Davies (66)ConversionsWilliams (26, 66)PenaltiesWilliams (19, 45, 58)

FT (ht: 10-10)

  • Last Updated: March 30 2013, 17:01 GMT

Scarlets maintained their push for the RaboDirect Pro12 play-offs with a hard-fought victory over Newport Gwent Dragons at the Millennium Stadium.

George North: Try scorer for Scarlets
George North: Try scorer for Scarlets

The Llanelli-based region took their opportunity to pile the pressure on the Ospreys, who had the early evening slot against Cardiff Blues in the 'Judgement Day' Welsh double-header in the capital.

The two regions are fighting for the fourth semi-final spot and the Scarlets, behind their rivals on try count, knew they had no margin for error.

And they made no mistake against a Dragons side that sit one from bottom of the table - although their three-tries-to-two win means they failed to register a much-needed bonus point.

The Dragons were fuelled by a desire to strike back following a 52-19 humbling at the hands of the Ospreys eight days earlier, as well as an awful record against the Scarlets, who they had not beaten in league rugby since 2008

But the Gwent outfit spent most of the opening exchanges in defence and the pressure finally paid off when Scarlets fly-half Owen Williams knocked over a penalty, with Wales star Toby Faletau also sent to the sin bin after a succession of team offences.

And the 14-man Dragons were facing a 10-point deficit when star winger George North, subject of transfer interest from Northampton, was put over the whitewash by scrum-half Aled Davies.

But for all their dominance, the Scarlets headed into the break on level terms.

First Dragons scrum-half Jonathan Evans spotted a gap at a ruck and raced over from 25 metres for a fine individual score.

Full-back Tom Prydie converted and then knocked over a penalty with the last kick of the half to make it 10-10.

The second half was a more even contest with Dragons causing problems through fly-half Dan Evans, wing Will Harries and full-back Prydie.

But it was the Scarlets that led 16-13 entering the final quarter thanks to a pair of Williams penalties to one by Prydie.

And, suddenly, the west Walians were in a position to chase the four-try bonus point in the closing stages after quickfire tries by international pair Jonathan Davies and North.

Dan Evans, playing his old region, got a try that his all-action display deserved to make it 28-20 with five minutes remaining.

That was how it stayed, the Scarlets getting four points but left to rue failing to cross the whitewash one more time.


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