Pro 12: Scarlets 42-7 Zebre
|Pro 12: Scarlets v Zebre|
|Scarlets: (21) 42|
|Tries: Evans, Shingler, Williams, Price, penalty try, Boyde Cons: D Jones 5, Thomas|
|Zebre (7) 7|
|Tries: Bellini Con: Violi|
Scarlets maintained their position in the top four of the Pro12 with a routine bonus-point win over bottom-placed Zebre.
The Welsh region dominated, but met with tough resistance before claiming a fourth try in the 50th minute.
Steff Evans, Aaron Shingler and Tom Williams claimed first-half tries with Tom Price, Will Boyde and a penalty try following after the break.
Mattia Bellini claimed Zebre's touchdown early in the match.
Fly-half Dan Jones was on target five times and Aled Thomas once as all six Scarlets tries were converted.
Evans was playing for the first time in four weeks after being released from the Wales Six Nations squad and caught the eye with a number of jinking runs.
But industrious second-row Tadhg Beirne was named man of the match after a tireless display.
Scarlets started like a team intent on the bonus point, but their high-risk policy was hampered by handling errors.
As a result they were leading by just seven points after a dominant opening 20 minutes with only Evans' 12th-minute touchdown to show for their territory and possession.
They were rocked when a sweet backs' move saw Bellini rock the home team with a touchdown for the visitors from a set-piece in the 24th minute.
But order was restored before the interval when Shingler - making his 150th appearance for the region - and Williams crossed to open a 14-point margin.
The Italian side remained stubborn until Price charged over from close range, with a penalty try from an attacking scrum and Boyde's opportunist score completing the scoring.
What the coach said
Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac: "We'll bank the five points first and foremost, job done in that respect and the other one was to get through without too many knocks and apart from Emyr Phillips we look okay.
"It wasn't pretty at times, in the first half we should have scored more points but we were happy to get that bonus point early in the second half.
"We definitely left a few out there, I think guys were definitely a bit over-eager at times, but the effort was there and I think Tadhg Beirne epitomised that."
Scarlets: Johnny McNicholl; Tom Williams, Steff Hughes, Hadleigh Parkes (capt), Steff Evans; Dan Jones, Jonathan Evans; Wyn Jones, Emyr Phillips, Werner Kruger, Tom Price, Tadhg Beirne, Aaron Shingler, James Davies, Will Boyde
Replacements: Owen for Parkes (55), A. Davies for J. Evans (40), Garrett for W. Jones (55), A. Thomas for Kruger (61), Macleod for Shingler (55).
Not Used: Elias, N. Thomas, T. Phillips.
Zebre: Kurt Baker; Mattia Bellini, Giulio Bisegni, Tommaso Boni, Lloys Greeff; Serafin Bordoli, Marcello Violi; Andrea De Marchi (capt), Tommaso D'Apice, Pietro Ceccarelli, Joshua Furno, Gideon Koegelenberg, Derick Minnie, Oliviero Fabiani, Federico Ruzza.
Replacements: Replacements: Berryman for Bisegni (65), Pratichetti for Boni (68), Palazzani for Bordoli (61), Postiglioni for De Marchi (60), Le Roux for Ceccarelli (56), Bernabo for Furno (41), Zanetti for Fabiani (51).
Not Used: Roan.
Sin Bin: Postiglioni (62).
Referee: Andrew Brace (IRFU)
Assistant Referees: Sean Gallagher (IRFU), Simon Mills (WRU)
TMO: Kevin Beggs (IRFU)