European Challenge Cup: Bayonne 11-19 Scarlets
|Challenge Cup: Bayonne v Scarlets|
|Bayonne (8) 11|
|Tries: Ruru Cons: Pens: Barthelemy 2|
|Scarlets (13) 19|
|Tries: R Evans Cons: Halfpenny Pens: Halfpenny 4|
Scarlets kept their European Challenge Cup quarter-finals hopes alive with a battling win at French club Bayonne.
Prop Rob Evans crashed over for the visitors' first-half try and fellow Wales international Leigh Halfpenny kicked the rest of the visitors' points.
Bayonne saw scrum-half Michael Ruru scored a superb solo try for the hosts.
But Brad Mooar's side proved too strong ahead of next Saturday's rematch in Llanelli.
Halfpenny announced his return after a post-World Cup break by kicking the game's first points.
As Scarlets pressure told, the British and Irish Lion's reliable goal-kicking ensured the visitors a cushion against obstinate opponents.
After Evans went over following a slick line-out play, Ruru replied while fly-half Romain Barthelemy kicked two penalties to keep the game finely poised.
But Scarlets were more composed in the dying stages while Bayonne's indiscipline undermined their cause.
The Welsh team host Bayonne in Saturday's rematch at Parc y Scarlets (19:45 GMT) lying second and five points behind Group 2 leaders Toulon, who are at London Irish earlier in the day (15:00 GMT).
Bayonne: Graaf; Robinson, Lestrade, Muscarditz (c), Baget; Barthelemy, Ruru; Cormenier, Lamothe, Johnston, Van Lill, Jaulhac, Monribot, Heguy, Tau.
Replacements: Delonca, Iguiniz, de Clercq, Maka, Duputs, Saubusse, Ordas, Tisseron.
Scarlets: Halfpenny; McNicholl, S Hughes (capt), Asquith, S Evans; D Jones, Hardy; R Evans, Elias, W Kruger, Cummins, Lousi, Cassiem, Macleod, Thomson.
Replacements: M Jones, Price, Sebastian, Helps, J Morgan, J Evans, Lamb, Baldwin.
Referee: Ben Blain (Scotland) Assistants: Hollie Davidson (Scotland), Graeme Ormiston (Scotland) TMO: Neil Paterson (Scotland).