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Scarlets on song to unseat Bath

Published 11/11/2016

Bath Rugby Director of Rugby Todd Blackadder saw his side lose to the Scarlets
Bath Rugby Director of Rugby Todd Blackadder saw his side lose to the Scarlets

The Scarlets produced a stunning second-half comeback, running in 35 unanswered points to beat old rivals Bath 44-21 in an entertaining Anglo-Welsh Cup encounter in Llanelli.

Trailing 21-9 at the break, the West Walians turned on the style after the interval, crossing for five tries to claim a deserved bonus-point triumph.

It turned into a night to forget for former Scarlets No. 10 Rhys Priestland who was yellow carded for a dangerous tackle on opposite number Dan Jones.

The Scarlets, having made wholesale changes to the side that beat Glasgow in the Guinness Pro12 last weekend, showed early promise, but as the half wore on they found themselves outmuscled by a well-drilled Aviva Premiership pack.

A brace of penalties from fly-half Dan Jones put the home side 6-0 ahead, but with Bath's forwards starting to take a grip of proceedings, the visitors started to dominate territory and possession.

Prop Max Lahiff did well to stretch over from close range on 25 minutes - the first of three tries inside 11 minutes for the West Country men.

Five minutes later, more Bath pressure, with their forwards charging over the gainline, saw hooker Tom Dunn plough over.

Jones pulled a penalty back for the home side, but with Bath winning the battle of the breakdown, they set up territory again close to the Scarlets line and after a drive was hauled down just short, a lovely looping pass from Priestland allowed wing Jeff Williams a free run to the line.

Undaunted, the Scarlets started the second half with the same energy as the first with skipper Emyr Phillips leading the charge with a defence-splitting break.

And they were back in the contest on 52 minutes when lively flanker Josh Macleod hit a great angle to cross at the posts, a try converted by Jones.

Bath's problems were compounded when Priestland was shown yellow for a dangerous tackle on Jones and from the ensuing line-out flanker Tom Phillips showed good strength to cross.

With momentum swinging their way, the home side started to visibly grow in confidence.

Outstanding skipper Emyr Phillips emerged from a driving maul for the third, before a brace from Jack Condy wrapped things up and completed the comeback.

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