Scarlets 32-9 Aironi

Scarlets (9) 32

R Thomas, Fenby
Newton 2
Newton 5, R Jones

Aironi (6) 9

Olivier 3
Prop Rhys Thomas scores for the Scarlets

The Scarlets began their RaboDirect Pro12 campaign with a hard-fought, but deserved win over battling Italians Aironi at Parc y Scarlets.

Fly-half Dan Newton kicked three first-half penalties to opposite number Naas Olivier's brace to give the hosts a 9-6 half-time lead.

But after the break prop Rhys Thomas and Andy Fenby crossed.

Newton added conversions to both tries plus two penalties while Olivier replied with a second-half penalty.

The opening period was unspectacular and frustrating for the hosts in damp conditions that helped limit the Scarlets' attacking intent.

Nigel Davies' side had a clear advantage at the scrums and looked better equipped with ball in hand.

But their inability to win quick, clean second-phase possession left them short of try-scoring chances.

Aironi played their part in that, with some sold work at in defence and at the breakdowns.

Davies happy with opening win

The visitors took the lead through Olivier's opening penalty, setting a first-half trend in which the hosts came out on top.

Olivier's opposite number Dan Newton kicked three first-half penalties to Olivier's brace.

Rowland Phillips' side were also one down at the break thanks to scrum-half Tito Tebaldi's sin-binning four minutes earlier.

Olivier levelled the scores with his third shot at goal six minutes into the second period.

But as the 50-minute mark arrived, the hosts finally put together a concerted attack in which Ben Morgan's run ended with Josh Turnbull putting prop Thomas over at the corner.

Newton converted from the touchline to further boost home morale, adding a brace of penalties to take the contest beyond Aironi's reach.

The home side then produced another defence-splitting surge that gave wing Fenby the chance to peel away from a ruck and burst clear.

Newton again converted and his late replacement Rhys Jones added the final points with a penalty.


Scarlets: Evans; L Williams, Gomer-Davies, A Thomas, Fenby; Newton, R Williams; I Thomas (capt), Phillips, R Thomas, Shingler, Day, McCusker, Turnbull, Morgan.

Replacements: Warren for Fenby (77), R Jones for Newton (78), G Davies for R Williams (67), John for I Thomas (70), Myhill for Phillips (75), Gardner for R Thomas (73), Reed for Shingler (66), Pugh for Morgan (75).

Aironi: Trevisan; R Pavan, Quartaroli, Pizarro, Venditti; Olivier, Tebaldi; Aguero, Santamaria (capt), Redolfini, Furno, Biagi, Sole, Cattina, Williams.

Replacements: Benetti for Pizarro (70), Bronzini for Tebaldi (70), A De Marchi for Aguero (56), Staibano for Redolfini (46), Ferrarini for Sole (77), Viljoen for Cattina (57).

Not Used: Giazzon, G Pavan.

Att: 6,493

Ref: Andrew McMenemy (RFU)