|19 February 2022||7:35 pm||United Rugby Championship||2021/22|
14 points from the boot of Jack Carty proved to be the difference as Connacht edged Scarlets 23-29 in a thriller at Parc Y Scarlets in the United Rugby Championship.
Connacht teased another collapse as they conceded 10 unanswered points in the final 20 minutes, and lost Leva Fifita to a red card with five minutes remaining, but held their nerve to collect their first away win of the season.
Tries from Sammy Arnold, Fifita and John Porch proved to be enough for Andy Friend’s men to claim their first ever win at Parc Y Scarlets.
Scarlets took an early lead in the first half as Dan Jones slotted over an early penalty, and all appeared to be going swimmingly for the Llanelli region as Scott Williams’ intelligent grubber kick found Johnny Williams, who marked his return from injury with a try.
Connacht bounced back in emphatic fashion however, as Arnold raced in unopposed for a score, before Carty added two quickfire penalties minutes apart to give Friend’s team a 10-11 lead, but was quickly cancelled out by Jones, who gave the Scarlets a 13-11 lead.
However, that proved to be as good as it got for the hosts as the Galwaymen responded swiftly through Fifita, and Carty kicked the points to make it 13-18 heading into the sheds.
The visitors picked up where they left off as Carty added a further three points just after the interval, and John Porch added a third try just minutes later to leave Connacht firmly in the ascendancy with just 20 minutes remaining.
Scarlets introduced Rhys Patchell and Javon Sebastian in an attempt to change the tie, and the move paid dividends almost immediately as the hosts scored a penalty try after Fifita fouled Hardy, which saw the Tongan receive his first yellow card.
However, it was a story of missed opportunities for the Scarlets as Kieran Hardy and Marc Jones wasted two try scoring opportunities due handling errors as they were about to score, leaving a case of what could have been for Dwayne Peel’s men.
Nevetheless, the Welsh region were offered a glimmer of hope as Fifita earned his second yellow and an inevitable red card for obstructing Ioan Nicholas. Rhys Patchell kicked the resulting penalty to leave things evenly poised at 23-29.
All hope quickly evaporated however as Scott Williams’ attempted tip on play drifted forward minutes later, as the province of Connacht breathed a sigh of relief knowing they’d picked up their first away win.
|22'||12. Sam Arnold|
|Parc y Scarlets|
|Llanelli, Wales, SA14 9BU, United Kingdom|