Pro14: Scarlets 54-10 Zebre
|Guinness Pro14: Scarlets v Zebre|
|Scarlets (26) 54|
|Tries: Hardy 2, Macleod, Conbeer, T Davies, McNicholl 2, Helps Cons: D Jones 4, O'Brien|
|Zebre (10) 10|
|Try: Manfredi Con: Biondelli Pen: Biondelli|
Scarlets cruised to a bonus-point win against Zebre in Llanelli to continue their unbeaten start to the Pro14 campaign.
Kieran Hardy, Josh Macleod and Ryan Conbeer scored before Marco Manfredi hit back.
Hardy's second brought the try bonus point before 30 minutes was up and they led 26-10 at the break.
Taylor Davies, Johnny McNicholl twice and Josh Helps added second-half tries to complete the rout.
New Scarlets coach Brad Mooar has seen his side win their opening three games, while their Italian opponents are winless in 2019-20 - with both teams dealing with World Cup absentees.
Scarlets' superiority was evident from the off as wing Steff Evans set up scrum-half Hardy's opener.
Macleod emerged from the bottom of a line-out drive to claim the hosts' second and after wing Conbeer raced over for the third, Zebre offered brief resistance.
Hooker Manfredi crashed over from close range for Michelangelo Biondelli to add a conversion to his earlier penalty.
Hardy's second returned the initiative to Scarlets and home hooker Davies celebrated his first Pro14 start for Scarlets after the break with another home try.
Centre and captain Steff Hughes produced a perfectly-weighted chip for full-back McNicholl to gather and score.
Scarlets' standards slipped as the last quarter approached, with lock Lewis Rawlins sin-binned after a series of defensive penalties from the hosts.
Replacement flanker Dan Davis also missed a glorious chance to touch down as he knocked on after haring onto substitute scrum-half Jonathan Evans' hack ahead.
But Helps made no mistake after Zebre were thwarted while trying to break out from behind their own line.
McNicholl's second on the stroke of full-time was worth the wait, as he rose to take replacement fly-half Angus O'Brien's cross-kick with the stand-off's conversion ending the encounter.
Scarlets coach Brad Mooar told BBC Sport Wales:
"It's three out of three so I'm really thrilled for the boys who've worked really hard and bought in. As for the performance, we've scored eight tries, off the boot and through the hands, exerting pressure in different ways.
"We showed that it is difficult to keep up intensity because we got a bit loose and lateral in the first half, so we talked about that at half time and we saw a lovely response, I was also thrilled to keep Zebre scoreless in the second half.
"We're really enjoying watching the boys perform at the World Cup, and they're really enjoying watching these boys perform back at home, so for us (this period) doesn't feel low-key and it's been a good start.
"Edinburgh (on 26 October) are a club with great depth and they're well-coached, so after an individual training week this week, we'll be energised and bouncing, it sounds exciting."
Scarlets: McNicholl; Conbeer, S Hughes (capt), Asquith, S Evans; D Jones, Hardy; R Evans, T Davies, Lee, Rawlins, Kruger, T Phillips, Macleod, Cassiem.
Replacements: P Price, M Jones, Kruger, Helps, Davis, J Evans, O'Brien, Baldwin.
Zebre: Walker; Balekana, Elliott, Lucchin, Bruno; Biondelli, Renton; Rimpelli, Manfredi, Tarus, Kearney, Nagle, Bianchi,Meyer, Licata.
Replacements: Ceciliani, Buonfiglio, Bello, Biagi, Tauyavuca, Casilio, Mantelli, Mori.
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Dan Jones and Justin Williams (both Wales)
TMO: Charles Samson (Scotland)