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Scarlets beat greasy conditions and Zebre to climb up to second

Scarlets had to endure terrible conditions and a second half Zebre comeback before sealing a 20-12 triumph, their seventh of the Guinness Pro12 campaign, to climb up to second in the table.

At a rainy and windswept Parc y Scarlets the Welsh region led 17-0 at half-time thanks to converted tries for centre Hadleigh Parkes and scrum-half Aled Davies as well as a penalty from Aled Thomas.

Zebre launched a comeback after the break with two tries for No 8 Andries Van Schalkwyk before replacement Steven Shingler stopped the rot to put over a penalty at the end.

Wales prop Samson Lee had returned to Scarlets colours after missing the region's European Champions Cup defeats by Northampton and Racing 92 amid fitness concerns. Lee was one of nine personnel changes from the disappointing defeat at home to Racing.

With six wins from the opening seven rounds of the Pro12, Scarlets started the afternoon in fourth place in the table.

In difficult driving rain the Italian team had a nightmare in the line-out and Scarlets enjoyed a wealth of possession to score two tries in the space of four minutes early on.

Aaron Shingler won ball on the floor and after good work from Regan King and James Davies, Parkes broke through an attempted tackle by Guglielmo Palazzani to go over by the posts. Thomas converted to give Scarlets a 7-0 lead on eight minutes.

From ball stolen at a line-out Parkes turned provider for Scarlets' second try, putting scrum-half Davies over with a neat inside pass for Thomas to convert again.

Scarlets' dominance continued as Thomas converted a 22nd minute penalty and the hosts led 17-0.

Zebre finished the half relatively strongly and got the ball over the line from a line-out drive but failed to ground the ball.

The Italians got themselves right back into the game with two tries from Van Schalkwyk in the space of 10 minutes.

After a drive from a line-out, Van Schalkwyk scrambled across the line and he followed that by breaking off the back of a scrum for his second after Scarlets lock Maselino Paulino had been yellow-carded by referee George Clancy for a professional foul at a ruck.

Steven Shingler replaced Thomas but missed the target with two penalty goal attempts on 66 and 70 minutes before eventually finding the mark with his third attempt three minutes from time to seal victory.


From Belfast Telegraph