Scarlets beat Edinburgh to boost play-off hopes
Scarlets 14 Edinburgh 13
THE Scarlets returned to the Pro12 play-off places, but this was not a display that would have concerned many of their top-four rivals.
Facing a side who had lost their last 10 matches, the West Wales region spluttered to victory, despite dominating possession and territory for long periods, particularly in a one-sided second half.
They led 8-0 in the first quarter thanks to a penalty from fly-half Aled Thomas and a superbly-worked try for wing Andy Fenby, his 10th of the season.
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The North Walian wing finished off in style after bursting onto an inside pass from Thomas, and it appeared the Scarlets were on their way to a comfortable evening's work.
It was anything but that.
Capitalising on a string of home errors, Edinburgh responded strongly with a penalty from young fly-half Harry Leonard followed by a slick converted try wide out for wing Dougie Fife to make it 10-8 at half-time.
Leonard punished the Scarlets' failure to clear their own lines with another penalty straight after the restart, before the home side burst into life.
A concerted period of pressure led to Thomas slotting a close-range penalty, then his replacement Owen Williams hit the upright with his first attempt at goal
The Scarlets were often guilty of taking the direct route instead of using free the runners on the outside.
With a big overlap out wide, flanker Johnathan Edwards thought he had driven over, but the television match official failed to rule in his favour and Edinburgh were able to clear their lines.
Williams, so accurate in his first three matches, missed another chance to give the Scarlets the lead, then Edinburgh found themselves down to 14 men when Fife was yellow card after another infringement at the breakdown.
Williams, though, was off target again as tension mounted around Parc y Scarlets.
Finally, with Scarlets continuing to dominate, Williams was handed a chance from bang in front and made no mistake to give the home side the lead.
With man of the match Aaron Shingler and lock Joe Snyman at the heart of the home effort, more pressure followed, but still the Scarlets struggled to break down some stubborn Edinburgh defence.
And in the end they were grateful for a last-ditch tackle from Owen Williams on flanker Hamish Watson to prevent what could have been an Edinburgh try in the final move of the match.