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Tom Tainton

Tom Tainton writes

Posted Saturday, August 18th 2018

Report: Scarlets 28-19 Bristol Bears

Bristol Bears fell to a narrow defeat in their opening pre-season clash versus Scarlets on Saturday.

The visitors led 19-7 at the interval, courtesy of tries from Jordan Crane, Luke Daniels and Alapati Leuia, but were pegged back in a scrappy second period.


What happened?

In conditions more akin to November, Bristol seized the early initiative and could have gone ahead when Ryan Edwards sidestepped his way just a metre short of the chalk.

But Scarlets edged in front when Clayton Blommetjies – on his first outing since arriving in Llanelli from the Cheetahs – stretched over for a converted score.

The visitors struck back soon after through Jordan Crane’s close-range effort, before Luke Daniels crossed on his first outing in Bristol colours on the half hour mark. The full back combined well with Ryan Edwards down the outside channel to touch down.

Alapati Leiua extended the advantage before the interval when the powerful centre collected a delicate Tom Pincus grubber kick to cross the whitewash for a converted try, moving the score to 7-19.

Head coach Pat Lam made wholesale changes after the break but it was Scarlets who drew first blood, with an hour on the clock. As the Welsh outfit pressed for an opening, Tomi Lewis reacted quickest to a kick ahead to touch down.

Ryan Edwards on the charge in the first half (JMPUK).

In an attritional second forty, neither side created many clear-cut chances, although Scarlets enjoyed the lion’s share of possession.

Then, late in the game, referee Nigel Owens awarded the home side a penalty try after an adjudged infringement just a metre from the line.

With time running out, Blommetjies added a second when he raced over from twenty metres, while Hidalgo Clyne converted to seal the friendly victory.


Key moment:

In the dying stages, Scarlets were awarded a penalty try following an adjudged infringement deep in Bristol territory, which turned the game on its head and gave the home side the lead.


Photo of the match:

Tusi Pisi looks for the offload with Bears on the attack (JMPUK).

The squad:

FORWARDS: Yann Thomas, Jordan Lay, Tom Lindsay, Nick Fenton-Wells, Harry Thacker, John Afoa, Ollie Dawe, Jake Woolmore, Shaun Malton, Jake Armstrong, Joe Joyce, Joe Latta, Ed Holmes, John Hawkins, Steve Luatua, Sam Jeffries, George Smith, Jordan Crane, Sam Graham, Jake Heenan, Nick Haining, Ehize Ehizode.

BACKS: Nic Stirzaker, Harry Randall, Andy Uren, Ian Madigan, Tiff Eden, Callum Sheedy, Jack Tovey, Will Hurrell, Siale Piutau, Tusi Pisi, Alapati Leiua, Luke Daniels, Ryan Edwards, Luke Morahan, Tom Pincus, Charlie Powell.