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Reigning champions Connacht's woes worsen after loss to Scarlets

Two tries from Liam Williams helped Scarlets register their first Guinness PRO12 win of the season after they overcame Connacht 17-8 in a low quality basement battle at Parc y Scarlets.

Scarlets came back from 8-7 down at the break to control the second half and leave the defending champions still looking for their first league point of this campaign.

Williams went over either side of half-time with both tries converted by outside-half Rhys Patchell, who added a drop goal. Connacht's try came from wing Niyi Adeolokun with Jack Carty kicking a penalty.

This was a bottom of the table clash with Scarlets having lost their opening three games of the season and defending champions Connacht having suffered heavy home defeats against Glasgow and Ospreys.

Aaron Shingler returned at blindside flanker with Aled Davies coming in at scrum-half to replace Gareth Davies, who had a virus.

Connacht made seven changes from the team that played in the Zebre game which got abandoned because of torrential rain.

And the inclement weather in Llanelli did not help two sides low on confidence.

Connacht just about edged a mistake-ridden first half with Scarlets' cause not helped by Aled Thomas' wayward kicking, the full-back missing three penalties inside the first 20 minutes.

Those misses proved crucial as centre Bundee Aki broke into Scarlets' 22 and when the ball was moved right, Adeolokun went over in the corner. Carty missed the conversion.

Matters did not get much better for Scarlets when Patchell kicked his penalty attempt to the corner into the dead ball area.

But Carty missed a penalty attempt at the other end before Scarlets broke their duck to go into the lead briefly when wing Williams ran in to finish off a move begun by a Shingler break, with Patchell converting.

Their 7-5 lead only lasted three minutes before Carty kicked a final minute penalty after skipper Ken Owens had disrupted a Connacht maul illegally.

In the second half wing Steff Evans went closest to scoring a try but with Scarlets still trailing the Welsh region brought on Scott Williams in a reorganised backline.

Scarlets began to play on the front foot with scrum-half Aled Davies and Owens combining well before Williams went over in the left corner.

The conversion was put over from the touchline by Patchell, who also kicked a 71st minute drop-goal to put his side nine points ahead to make sure they walked away with the points.


From Belfast Telegraph