Scarlets happy to crash the party as Glasgow's big move falls flat
THE Scarlets made it two Pro12 wins out of two to gatecrash Glasgow's moving in party at Scotstoun last night.
The West Walians outscored the home side by three tries to one thanks to first-half efforts from Aaron Shingler and Andy Fenby and a second-half try from Wales wing George North.
It could have more comfortable had Rhys Priestland not left his kicking boots at home — he missed 15 points in all — but Scarlets coach Simon Easterby will be delighted with only a second win in eight attempts in Glasgow.
The Warriors did threaten a late comeback, but the Scarlets thoroughly deserved the points to take them top of the league table.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Wales centre Jonathan Davies, in his first start of the season, had a fine match, while forwards George Earle, Aaron Shingler and skipper Rob McCusker also stood out.
The Scarlets had recalled Wales internationals Rhys Priestland, Jonathan Davies and Matthew Rees in the wake of their seven-try hammering of Leinster in round one, while Glasgow were desperate to atone for their 18-10 loss to Ulster at Ravenhill.
Priestland missed an early opportunity to give his side the lead, pulling a 40-metre penalty from straight in front, and minutes later opposite number Ruaridh Jackson showed him how to do it, slotting over from similar range after Rees had been penalised for offside.
There was early intent from both sides, only for the Scarlets to ruin a couple of promising forays into home territory by conceding penalties at the contentious breakdown area.
It meant the visitors' defence had to soak up plenty of pressure, although Jackson missed a second opportunity to extend his side's advantage on 15 minutes.
Finally, the Scarlets discovered the kind of fluency that had put Leinster to the sword six days earlier.
And after some strong work by centre Scott Williams, the ball was sent wide where George North delivered an inside pass to Aaron Shingler five metres out and he was able to stretch out for the score.
Priestland missed the difficult conversion, but Shingler then turned from hero to villain when he saw yellow for a high challenge on Glasgow full-back Peter Murchie.
Jackson, though, again let the Scarlets off the hook, missing the resultant penalty, only for Priestland to return the favour from close range.
The seven-man Scarlets scrum was being put under enormous pressure, although two minutes before the interval the visitors pounced on a home error to claim their second try.
The ball was coughed up in midfield and Wales centre Jon Davies hacked through, Andy Fenby took up the chase and as the ball headed over the whitewash the flying winger easily won the race to the touchdown.
Priestland's struggles with the boot continued when he failed to land the extras from the touchline, but just as the West Walians were looking to head into the interval with a seven-point cushion they gave away a needless penalty, which Jackson landed to make it 10-6 at the break.
A powerful break by the impressive Davies five minutes after the restart gave Priestland his fifth attempt at goal, and finally the Wales No. 10 got his radar working with a fine long-range effort.
There was still plenty of whistle coming from Irish official Dudley Phillips and after Priestland had failed with a strike from inside his own half, replacement Duncan Weir — on at half-time for the out of sorts Jackson — struck the upright with his first attempt.
A smart kick through from Priestland almost set up George North on the right flank, but after picking up the bouncing ball he was bundled into touch 10 metres out.
The Scarlets were very much in the ascendancy in the third quarter, with the physical Earle and Shingler carrying strongly.
And the third try duly arrived on 56 minutes.
Davies, showing no ill-effects of his hernia operation in the summer, provided the impetus with the initial break and after Liam Williams, Earle and Deacon Manu carried up to the line, good hands put North away in the corner for his third try in two games.
It needed some desperate scavenging work from the Scarlets defence to deny Glasgow their opening try on 65 minutes as both sides brought on a string of replacements.
And as the clock ticked down so the Scarlets began to feel that the points were in the bag.
The Scarlets escaped when Weir broke through only for the final scoring pass to go astray, then it needed some great cover defence from Scott Williams to halt another Glasgow attack.
With the home side throwing everything into attack, Cusiter was put clear to race in under the posts and with Weir landing the conversion it set up a thrilling final four minutes.
But the Scarlets were able to hang on to claim the points.