Pro12: Scarlets 24-6 Cardiff Blues

Jon Davies races away to score a try for Scarlets

Scarlets (10) 24

J Davies (2), L Williams
O Williams (2), Priestland
O Williams

Cardiff Blues (6)

Halfpenny (2)

Scarlets moved up into the Pro12 play-off places at the expense of champions Ospreys with a comfortable Welsh derby win over Cardiff Blues.

Jon Davies scored a try in each half, with Liam Williams adding a superb individual effort.

Owen Williams kicked seven points and Rhys Priestland converted the final try on his first appearance this year.

Leigh Halfpenny's two first-half penalties was all the Blues managed in a impotent attacking display.

The victory gives Scarlets a four-point advantage over Ospreys in the race for the final play-off place with one game remaining.

But, with Ospreys facing a tough trip to Leinster on the final weekend, Scarlets are in the driving seat to finish fourth as they prepare to host Treviso.

There was further encouragement for the home side as fly-half Priestland returned to action after an Achilles injury, while Blues lock Bradley Davies also came off the bench to play for the first time since an ankle injury in January.

With the visitors well out of the play-off picture, the scene was set for the Scarlets to leapfrog neighbours Ospreys.

They were hardly tested by a subdued Blues performance, but they could yet rue failing to score a fourth try to secure a bonus point.

Davies' first try was one a few highlights in a disjointed first-half dominated by kicking and a lack of creativity.

An attacking line-out saw the home side form an attacking platform on the Blues 22, and quick ball allowed Davies to cut inside Gavin Evans and run in unopposed to touch down behind the posts.

Owen Williams converted and a penalty on the half-hour opened a 7-3 lead.

Having been starved of possession, the Blues finally forced their way deep into Scarlets territory in the closing stages of the half when a series of forward surges ended with Lou Reed behind held up on the try-line.

But a ruck offence from the home side allowed Halfpenny a simple shot at goal, adding to his earlier penalty that had opened the scoring.

Fly-half Williams then landed a penalty with the final kick of the first half to secure a four-point advantage at the break.

A lacklustre second half finally found some urgency approaching the final 20 minutes as the home side took a stranglehold on the game with two tries in eight minutes.

Controlled, multi-phased attacking in the Blues 22 ended with Davies crashing over from five yards, using his strength to barge through Rhys Patchell's tackle. Owen Williams converted superbly from the left touchline.

A Blues turnover then created an opening for Liam Williams, and the full-back took full advantage by picking up the loose ball around his ankle before weaving through the scattered Blues defence to score under the posts.

Priestland converted, securing his first points of the year.

Scarlets saw plenty of possession in the closing stages to go in search of a fourth try, but they failed to find the necessary spark to improve their play-off prospects even further.


Scarlets: Liam Williams; George North, Jonathan Davies, Scott Williams, Andy Fenby; Owen Williams, Aled Davies; Phil John, Ken Owens, Samson Lee, George Earle, Johan Synman, Aaron Shingler, Josh Turnbull, Rob McCusker (capt).

Replacements: Matthew Rees, Rhodri Jones, Jacobie Adriannse, Jake Ball, Sione Timani, Gareth Davies, Rhys Priestland, Gareth Maule.

Cardiff Blues: Leigh Halfpenny; Owen Williams, Gavin Evans (capt), Jamie Roberts, Harry Robinson; Rhys Patchell, Lewis Jones; Taufa'ao Filise, Kristian Dacey, Scott Andrews, Filo Paulo, Lou Reed, Josh Navidi, Sam Warburton, Michael Paterson.

Replacements: Marc Breeze, Thomas Davies, Benoit Bourrust, Bradley Davies, Luke Hamilton, Alex Walker, Ceri Sweeney, Dafydd Hewitt.

Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU).

Assistant Referees: Sean Brickell, Tim Hayes (WRU).

Citing Commissioner: Gwyn Bowden (WRU).

TMO: Nigel Whitehouse (WRU).

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