Scarlets hold on for win at Cardiff
Scarlets produced a fiercely committed performance to stun hosts Cardiff and win a thrilling Welsh derby 26-15 at the Arms Park.
Early in the second half they had built a 26-7 lead before holding on determinedly despite a huge penalty count against them which saw forwards Wyn Jones, Aaron Shingler and Will Boyde all yellow carded.
Thirteen Welsh squad members missed the game but it lacked nothing in entertainment as Blues made too many careless errors to turn the game in the visitors' favour.
Jonathan Evans, Hadleigh Parkes, Shingler and DTH Van der Merwe scored tries for Scarlets with Rhys Patchell converting three.
Tom James and Blaine Scully scored tries for Blues with Steve Shingler converting and adding a penalty.
Scarlets began strongly to dominate the opening minutes and were rewarded with a seventh-minute try from Aaron Shingler.
The visitors secured two five-metre line-outs before strong runs from Parkes and Werner Kruger set up a try for the flanker.
Scarlets' dream start continued when three minutes later, Van der Merwe burst away from a ruck and slipped a tackle to send Evans over.
Patchell converted both to give his side a healthy early advantage before Blues got on the scoreboard with a try after James intercepted a John Barclay pass.
The frenetic opening continued as a third try for Scarlets beckoned when Van der Merwe intercepted but a brilliant cover tackle from Rey Lee-Lo hauled the wing down ten metres from the line.
However another interception soon gifted the visitors their third try when from inside his own 22, Steffan Hughes picked off another careless pass to send Van der Merwe racing into the corner.
The pace of the game eventually slowed as the game degenerated into a succession of five-metre scrums as Blues pummelled their opponents' line.
Referee Lloyd Linton struggled to regulate the area and issued yellow cards to props Jones and Taufa'ao Filise, as Scarlets somehow kept their line intact to lead 21-7 at the interval.
Within a minute of the restart, Scarlets collected their bonus point when Patchell burst outside an attempted tackle from replacement Lloyd Williams to create a try for Parkes.
Steve Shingler kicked a penalty before the props returned from the sin-bin in time to see James save Blues by overhauling Van der Merwe as he raced away from inside his own 22.
Blues dominated the third quarter and after visitors' flanker, Boyde was yellow carded, Scully collected a long pass from Jarrod Evans to score his side's second.
With 10 minutes remaining, Aaron Shingler became the third Scarlet forward to be sent to the bin but they still survived to record a notable win.