Priestland guides Scarlets home
October 29, 2010
Rhys Priestland kicked 18 points in the Scarlet's victory over Glasgow
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The Scarlets had to endure a second-half Glasgow comeback but held on for an 18-14 Magners League victory at a rain-soaked Parc y Scarlets on Friday night thanks to six Rhys Priestland penalty goals.
The home side, who held on to second place in the table, looked in a comfortable position at 15-0 just after the break until they conceded two tries in the space of four minutes scored by Duncan Weir and DTH van der Merwe. But despite a late rally from Glasgow, who earned a losing bonus point, the Scarlets held on for their fifth Magners victory of the season.
The Scarlets went into the game without seven frontline players including the likes of new Wales captain Matthew Rees, Stephen Jones, David Lyons, Sean Lamont, Tavis Knoyle, Jon Davies and George North. But the region more than held their own during a first half played out in torrential rain, with the likes of youngsters Nick Reynolds on the wing and No.8 Ben Morgan stepping up.
Priestland had much the better of the conditions compared to his opposite number Ruaridh Jackson, who badly missed both his first-half penalty shots. On the other hand Priestland found the target with four out of his five penalty attempts as Scarlets led 12-0 at half-time.
Priestland's first effort came on just seven minutes after the Scarlets went through the phases despite the wet conditions. The fly-half doubled the lead with a 17th-minute penalty before the Scarlets finished the half much the stronger with the Warriors fullback having a nightmare under the high ball.
Glasgow were not helped by the loss of skipper John Barclay to the sin bin after he kicked the ball out of a ruck. It allowed Priestland to put over two more penalties on 35 and 37 minutes.
The Scarlets began the second half well enough, with Priestland successful with a fifth penalty on 47 minutes to extend their lead to 15-0. But the sin-binning of lock Lou Reed for a professional foul proved crucial as Glasgow scored two converted tries in the space of four minutes.
Not only were the Scarlets reduced to 14 men, but their defence disappeared as replacement Weir skipped past two tackles for the first try. And Glasgow got back to within one point as Max Evans broke through and put Van der Merwe over for the second try to send a bit of panic into Scarlet ranks.
But they were given some respite when Glasgow were penalised for being in front of the kicker and Priestland converted his sixth kick on 70 minutes.
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