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Shingler lifts Scarlets to summit

Scarlets 21 - Connacht 19

By Robert Jones

Published 11/01/2016

On cue: Steven Shingler kept cool to slot over a late penalty
On cue: Steven Shingler kept cool to slot over a late penalty

A late penalty from Steven Shingler clinched a hard-fought 21-19 victory over Connacht at Parc y Scarlets to send the hosts back to the top of the Guinness PRO12.

The home side, who had narrowly lost their last two matches against Ospreys and Blues, were indebted to tries from wing Steffan Evans and full-back Michael Collins. Aled Thomas also added two penalties and a conversion before replacement fly-half Shingler won the game in the 78th minute.

Connacht, who earned a losing bonus point, scored one try through wing Matt Healy, while centre Craig Ronaldson kicked eight points and fly-half Jack Carty booted over two late penalties.

Ronaldson opened the scoring with a penalty in the 24th minute and five minutes later Connacht were 10-0 ahead as Healy ran in from 70 metres.

Thomas finally got the hosts off the mark four minutes before the end of the half.

The Scarlets launched a concerted comeback after the break. Another Thomas penalty opened the scoring in the second-half, before left wing Evans slid into the left corner. Thomas was on target again with the conversion to put the hosts in front at 13-10.

But a Ronaldson penalty drew Connacht level at 13-13.

After Scarlets swept up field, a fine pass from replacement scrum-half Rhodri Williams allowed Regan King to put Collins over. Thomas missed the conversion this time but Scarlets led 18-13. Connacht squeezed back in front with two Carty penalties but Shingler kicked the winning points.

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