Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Scarlets made to work for victory by Treviso

Scarlets strengthened their Guinness Pro12 play-off drive but they were made to work hard for a 24-15 victory by bottom side Benetton Treviso at Parc y Scarlets.

The West Walians had appeared to be in for a comfortable evening when wing Steffan Evans and flanker James Davies gave them an early 14-0 lead.

But the Italians battled back with two tries from number eight Robert Barbieri and led 15-14 with 12 minutes left on the clock.

However, as they have done for most of the season, Scarlets managed to pull another win out of the hat with man-of-the-match Evans racing over for his second try to seal the victory.

Aled Thomas and Jayden Hayward both missed early penalty attempts - an indication of the blustery conditions.

But after a scrappy opening, the home side finally found some fluency with a fine move finished off in style by wing Evans.

The speedster still had plenty to do when he received the ball 30 metres out, but the youngster cut inside and showed good strength to find his way to the posts.

Thomas converted and the Scarlets were soon celebrating their second try.

This time it came from a more direct route, with outstanding flanker James Davies touching down after a strong line-out drive, although it needed numerous viewings from television match official Derek Bevan before it was eventually given.

But just when it looked like Scarlets were heading for a comfortable evening, Treviso responded strongly.

Full-back Hayward found his range with a penalty from straight in front of the posts and it needed some superb covering defence from Scarlets skipper Hadleigh Parkes to deny Italian international wing Tommaso Iannone.

Barbieri was then held up over the line from a close-range line-out, which allowed Scarlets to go in at half-time with a 14-3 advantage.

Treviso lost scrum-half Alberto Lucchese to the sin-bin for a blatant offence seven minutes after the restart, but Scarlets somehow managed to butcher a golden try-scoring opportunity after a break from DTH van der Merwe with prop Dylan Evans dropping the ball with the line in his sight.

That was a key moment as Treviso surged back with two tries from Barbieri in the space of five minutes.

Barbieri touched down from a driving line-out, then intercepted from 45 metres out to turn the game on its head.

A penalty from replacement Dan Jones eased some of the nerves around Parc y Scarlets before Evans darted over for his second to seal the victory nine minutes from time.


From Belfast Telegraph