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Scarlets shade victory over Exiles

The Scarlets gave prop Rhys Thomas the perfect get well message as two tries from wing Vili Iongi helped them close in on an LV= Cup semi-final berth with a 27-19 victory over London Irish.

Thomas is in a comfortable condition in hospital following heart surgery after being taken ill at training on Thursday, and his team-mates did their best to raise his spirits.

Iongi's brace and a score from replacement prop Deacon Manu, plus three conversions and two penalties from Dan Newton secured a win that means a repeat performance at Sale next week will seal a last-four spot for the first time since 2006.

Irish, who were guilty of spurning a series of scoring chances, replied through four Tom Homer penalties and a converted try from Topsy Ojo that gave them the lead in the final quarter, but they could not hold off a strong Scarlets finish.

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