European Champions Cup: Scarlets 6-9 Glasgow Warriors
|European Champions Cup|
|Scarlets (0) 6|
|Pens: Thomas 2|
|Glasgow Warriors (6) 9|
|Pens: Russell 3|
Finn Russell kicked Glasgow to a narrow win over Scarlets that keeps the Scottish side in contention for the European Champions Cup quarter-finals.
The fly-half landed landed three penalties at a wet and windy Parc y Scarlets, with Aled Thomas landing two for the home side after the break.
Glasgow were down to 13 men for seven minutes in the second half but managed to limit the damage.
Thomas missed a long-range penalty to snatch a draw for the Welsh region.
Glasgow's win, completing a double over their beleaguered hosts, keeps them in third place in Pool Three, but closes the gap to a point on second-placed Northampton.
Racing 92 lead the way on 12 points, but the French side and Glasgow have a game in hand on the Saints.
Scarlets are flourishing in the Pro12, leading the way with eight wins from nine games, but their fourth consecutive defeat in Europe leaves them rooted to the bottom of the group.
Not one for the purists
Heavy rain in Llanelli created difficult playing conditions in front of a sparse crowd and the game was dominated by handling errors, leading to a disjointed spectacle.
The visitors shaded the play, but showed little of the attacking flair or physical dominance that was so prevalent in the six-try demolition of the home side a week ago.
That contrast was emphasised when Glasgow failed to capitalise on their numerical advantage when Thomas spent 10 minutes in the sin bin, with Russell's second successful kick at goal from the resulting penalty their only points.
Scarlets had an even better opportunity when Sean Lamont and Simone Favaro were shown yellow cards within three minutes of each other early in the second half, but again no tries materialised.
The home side twice had decent openings, but chose to kick ahead instead of trying to create an overlap by keeping the ball in hand.
Thomas did land two penalties when Glasgow were a man short to close within three points with 13 minutes remaining.
The fly-half, who missed his first attempt of the match, could have severely dented Glasgow's qualification hopes five minutes from time, but he pushed his long-range effort wide of the posts.
Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac said:
"We improved in the scrum and obviously on the scoreline. There are things we weren't happy with - the line-out being one - so there's a lot of work to do.
"Tonight we were on the wrong side of the penalty count. That hurt us.
"We got to a stage at 9-6 when we were looking for a try to win the game and it was an improved performance on last week.
"Our scrum improved but we need to go away and work on our line-out and our discipline."
Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend said:
"The Scarlets had the edge at the scrum in the first 20 minutes, but we got better as the game wore on. Overall I thought our set-piece was very good, especially our line-out.
"But we know we have to be better in the scrum given the two teams we have left to play in the pool, Northampton Saints and Racing 92."
"I thought both yellow cards were a bit harsh, but discipline is something we need to work on.
"We've just had two matches in terrible conditions and we can't play the rugby we want to play."
Scarlets: Michael Collins; Steffan Evans, Gareth Owen, Hadleigh Parkes, DTH van der Merwe; Aled Thomas, Gareth Davies; Rob Evans, Emyr Phillips (capt), Samson Lee; Jake Ball, Maselino Paulino; Lewis Rawlins, Jack Condy, Morgan Allen.
Replacements: Ken Owens, Wyn Jones, Rhodri Jones, George Earle, Tom Price, Aled Davies, Steve Shingler, Harry Robinson.
Glasgow Warriors: Tommy Seymour; Taqele Naiyaravoro, Mark Bennett, Alex Dunbar, Sean Lamont; Finn Russell, Mike Blair; Alex Allan, Fraser Brown, Sila Puafisi, Leone Nakarawa, Jonny Gray (capt), Rob Harley, Simone Favaro, Josh Strauss.
Replacements: Shalva Mamukashvili, Gordon Reid, Zander Fagerson, Tim Swinson, Ryan Wilson, Grayson Hart, Duncan Weir, Lee Jones.
Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France)
Touch judges: Maxime Chalon (France), Jean-Luc Rebollal (France)
TMO: Bruno Bessot (France)
Citing Commissioner: Mike Rafter (England)