Williams underlines talent as Scarlets triumph in Scotland
JORDAN Williams underlined his prodigious talent with a stunning individual try as the Scarlets claimed victory over a hapless Edinburgh at Murrayfield.
Williams's brilliant second-half effort was the highlight of a fine victory for Simon Easterby's side, who outscored the hosts by three tries to nil.
Wing Nick Reynolds and skipper Jonathan Davies also touched down as the West Wales region registered their second victory of the campaign.
Both sides had gone into the match on the back of disappointing defeats — the Scarlets falling to the Dragons in Newport, while there had been some harsh words in the Edinburgh camp in the wake of their hammering by the Ospreys in Swansea.
New coach Alan Solomons has vowed to bring a more pragmatic approach to Edinburgh's game-plan and both the Scots and the Scarlets — sides who have built a reputation for free-flowing, counter-attacking rugby — began the match intent on putting boot to ball. The Scarlets, as they have done for the opening three weeks, enjoyed early ascendancy at the scrum, while the likes of Scott Williams, Jordan Williams and Rhys Priestland looked threatening in attack.
However, a couple of rash penalties at the breakdown frustrated all that good build-up work and it led to skipper Davies being spoken to by Irish referee David Wilkinson.
The Scarlets enjoyed plenty of possession in the opening quarter, but were unable to translate that on the scoreboard and after conceding another penalty at the breakdown, lock Jake Ball was shown yellow on 23 minutes.
Fly-half Harry Leonard finally got the scoreboard ticking over on 29 minutes with a well-struck penalty from wide out on the 22, but straight from the restart Priestland responded to level matters.
The Wales No. 10 was then heavily involved in the first try of the match scored by wing Reynolds.
His high kick caused mayhem in the home defence and when the ball was recycled it was Priestland's pass that put his winger over in the corner.
For good measure, the fly-half landed a superb touchline conversion and the Scarlets were 10-3 to the good before a 40-metre Leonard penalty reduced the arrears to 10-6 with the last kick of the half.
It was Edinburgh who flew out of the blocks in the second half and a break by full-back Greig Tonks led to Scarlets flanker John Barclay being sin-binned for slowing the ball down. It allowed Leonard to slot the comfortable penalty and only a point separated the sides with the Scarlets down to 14 men again.
But any hopes Edinburgh had of making their one-man advantage pay was crushed by Jordan Williams's moment of magic.
The 20-year-old speedster collected a clearance and proceeded to turn on the afterburners to beat a couple of defenders for a superb solo score.
Priestland missed the conversion, then fell just short with a long-range penalty attempt.
It needed some last-ditch tackles to deny the Scarlets a third try with Davies showing his class in midfield.
With 15 minutes remaining, Edinburgh prop WP Nel was carded after infringing at the scrum and the Scarlets, unlike their hosts, took full advantage.
A clever cross-field kick from Priestland had home wing Lee Jones in all sorts of bother and Davies was on hand to touch down.
Priestland's touchline conversion made it 22-9 and the Scarlets were able to see out the game with ease.
EDINBURGH: Pens: H. Leonard (3),
G. Tonks (repl J. Dominguez 75); L. Jones, N. De Luca (repl M. Tait 47), B. Atiga, J. Cuthbert; H. Leonard, S. Hidalgo-Clyne (repl S. Kennedy 52); A. Dickinson (repl W. Blaauw 61), R. Ford (capt), W. Nel, G. Gilchrist (repl S. Cox 48), I. van der Westhuizen, D. Basilaia, D. Denton, R. Grant (repl G. Cross 69).
SCARLETS: Tries: N. Reynolds, J. Williams, J. Davies. Cons: R. Priestland (2). Pens: Priestland.
L. Williams; N. Reynolds, J. Davies (capt), S. Williams (repl G. Maule 75), J. Williams; R. Priestland (repl A. Thomas 76), R. Williams (repl A. Davies 65); P. John (repl R. Evans 69), E. Phillips (repl K. Owens 65), S. Lee (repl J. Adriaanse 50), J. Ball (repl G. Earle 52), J. Snyman (repl S. Timani 61), J. Turnbull, R. McCusker, J Barclay.
REFEREE: David Wilkinson (Ireland)