Pro12 Judgement Day V: Newport Gwent Dragons 16-21 Scarlets

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Wales Sport at the Principality Stadium
Pro12 highlights: Dragons 16-21 Scarlets
Pro12: Scarlets v Newport Gwent Dragons
Newport Gwent Dragons (6) 16
Try: Hughes Con: O'Brien Pens: O'Brien 3
Scarlets (3) 21
Try: Davies Con: Williams Pens: Jones 2, Williams

Scarlets climbed up to third place in the Pro12 with a gritty victory over Newport Gwent Dragons at Judgement Day.

Dragons shackled the Scarlets and led 6-3 after a first half of attrition.

Jonathan Davies broke the Dragons' resistance with the opening try after an hour, before Liam Williams went over in the opposite corner.

Adam Hughes scored a late consolation for the Dragons, who remain 10th in the Pro12 table, while Scarlets overtake Ospreys in third place.

After the Cardiff Blues had dismantled the Ospreys in a firecracker of a game earlier at the Principality Stadium, this second fixture was a damp squib.

Boasting a team packed with internationals and facing a Dragons side on a nine-match losing streak in all competitions, Scarlets were overwhelming favourites.

Yet, despite having never won in their previous four appearances at Judgement Day, it was the Dragons who made the brighter start as two Angus O'Brien penalties gave them a 6-0 lead.

The Gwent region applied themselves well in the first half, using their driving maul to good effect and kicking intelligently to contain their opponents.

Dan Jones' penalty halved the Scarlets' deficit before the break and added a second after the restart to bring them level.

However, he was taken off soon afterwards and replaced by Hadleigh Parkes, usually a centre or wing.

The Scarlets initially seemed disrupted by the change but, after Dragons wing Hughes was sin-binned after an hour, they exploited his absence on the right flank as Davies trotted over in the corner for the game's first try.

Davies' Wales team-mate Williams then forced his way over to extend the Scarlets' lead to 21-9, before Hughes' breakaway try with the final play of the game earned the Dragons a losing bonus point.

Scarlets: Johnny Mcnicholl, Liam Williams, Jonathan Davies, Scott Williams, Steff Evans, Dan Jones, Gareth Davies, Rob Evans, Ken Owens, Samson Lee, Jake Ball, Tom Price, Tadhg Beirne, James Davies, John Barclay

Replacements: Emyr Phillips, Wyn Jones, Werner Kruger, David Bulbring, Will Boyde, Jonathan Evans, Hadleigh Parkes, DTH van der Merwe

Newport Gwent Dragons: Carl Meyer, Adam Hughes, Tyler Morgan, Sam Beard, Adam Warren, Angus O'Brien, Charlie Davies; Sam Hobbs, Rhys Buckley, Lloyd Fairbrother, Matthew Screech, Cory Hill, Ollie Griffiths, Nic Cudd, Lewis Evans (capt)

Replacements: Thomas Rhys Thomas, Phil Price, Brok Harris, Ashley Sweet, Harrison Keddie, Dorian Jones, Tom Prydie, Jack Dixon

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

Assistant referees: Dan Jones (Wales), Sean Brickell (Wales)

TMO: Jon Mason (Wales).

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