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Llanelli Scarlets 37 Gunners 16

At Stradey Park, 25 September

Edinburgh's slow start to the season did not get any quicker this evening after the Gunners subsided to a disappointing 37-16 loss to Llanelli, leaking five tries to one in the process. They had made the trip to the Principality with realistic hopes of turning over the injury-hit home side, but at no-side it was difficult to dispute that the Scarlets deserved their victory.

The first quarter saw the Gunners' defence posted missing. And it was the three home tries scored during this time that eventually decided the game, two of which at least were the direct result of Gunners' gifts.

On four minutes, they allowed last season's hit-man, Tal Selley, to go over for the opening try, following up Arwel Thomas' third minute penalty. Matthew Watkins, who looked dangerous at centre, intercepted a Jackie Joiner pass on halfway to speed over for the Scarlets' second try as the quarter came to an end. He then turned provider for Arwel Thomas to go over for a try that the stand-off converted, after a defensive error in the Edinburgh in-goal area.

While three Chris Paterson penalties kept the Gunners in the hunt at the half, at 22-9, they had left themselves with a mountain to climb.

A super try from Hugo early in the second period gave the Gunners some hope, slicing through the home defence after good work by Lee, to take the visitors to 22-16 down. But while the duo combined promisingly shortly afterwards, Llanelli killed the game just past the hour with a Bowen penalty and a Taylor try.

A last minute Evans touchdown, converted by Bowen, sealed the home win.

With the Scarlets suffering from a mini-injury crisis, and after a poor start to the campaign, this was a good chance for the Gunners to notch their first win in Wales since beating the Ospreys in the Heineken last December. But it was not to be, with Llanelli finding form in emphatic style to run out comfortable winners. Meanwhile, the Gunners are now one of only three teams in the League - Munster and The Borders being the other two - still without a win.

Back home next week, with the Gunners' home game against Cardiff Blues kicking off at Murrayfield at 3.00 pm on Saturday 2 October.


Llanelli: A Thomas 1T 2C 1P, Selley 1T, Watkins 1T, Bowen 1P 1C, Taylor 1T, Evans 1T

Edinburgh: Paterson 1C 3P, Hugo 1T


LLANELLI SCARLETS: B Davies; G Evans, Watkins, Taylor, Selley: A Thomas, Phillips; I Thomas, Rees, J Davies, Cooper, A Jones, Easterby ©, Powell, G Thomas. Replacements: Thiel, Hawkins, Wyatt, Griffiths, R Jones, Bowen, Finau.

EDINBURGH RUGBY: Hugo; Webster, Di Rollo Joiner, Paterson; Laney, Blair; Jacobsen, Kelly, Brannigan, Hines, Kellock, Blackadder ©, Cross, Hogg, Replacements: Hall, Smith, Strokosch, Callam, Lawson, Pyke, Lee.

Referee: D Courtney (IRFU)