Scarlets bounce back with victory over Cheetahs

By Sports Desk November 02, 2019

Scarlets bounced back from their thrashing at the hands of Edinburgh to beat Cheetahs 17-13 in the Pro14 on Saturday.

Tries from Steff Evans and Kieran Hardy, allied to seven points from the boot of Dan Jones, saw the hosts seal a narrow triumph in sodden conditions at Parc y Scarlets.

It marked a spirited response to their 46-7 drubbing against Edinburgh last weekend. 

The South African side took the lead through Tian Meyer's early try but Evans – making his 100th appearance for the club – and Hardy touched down before the interval to tip the balance in Scarlets' favour.

Second-half penalties from Tian Schoeman and Ruan Pienaar set up a tense finale, but Jones had the final say from the tee.

Connacht matched Scarlets in making it four wins from five after defeating Ospreys 20-10 away from home, while Edinburgh were brought back down to earth in a narrow 18-16 loss at Benetton Treviso.

The final game of the day saw Cardiff Blues suffer a fourth defeat in a row as last season's semi-finalists Munster wrapped up a 33-23 bonus-point triumph in Wales.

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    "The last 10 minutes were the longest 10 minutes of my life," he said after his side failed to score in the second half. 

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    "We had to show some fighting qualities to see them off."

    Opposite number Steve Diamond, whose side remain in the hunt for a spot in the next round, paid tribute to his team's effort.

    "The lads played really well," he said. "We changed things up in the week with our attack and I think that went well.

    "I thought our forwards matched them today and probably edged them towards the end."

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    The action was concentrated in an entertaining first half at the AJ Bell Stadium, where Stuart Hogg was pivotal in a penalty try and touched down for another five points.

    Sale responded through Akker van der Merwe's two tries, but Luke Cowan-Dickie crossed to ensure Rob Baxter's men were ahead at the interval.

    The second half was scoreless until Jono Ross' late try gave Sale hope, but Exeter saw out the victory to move to the brink of securing a quarter-final spot.

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    Having trailed at the break, the hosts roared back to triumph at Kingsholm Stadium, with Tom Marshall touching down in each half, while Louis Rees-Zammit and Jake Polledri also got in on the act.

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    Having overseen defeats in the semi-finals in 2011 and quarter-finals in 2015, Gatland guided his side to the last four in Japan, only for them to suffer an agonising 19-16 loss to the Springboks.

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    Enormous applause around the stadium as Warren Gatland signs off from Wales duty. What a twelve years it's been. #DiolchWarren pic.twitter.com/7z4swrAGw1

    — Welsh Rugby Union (@WelshRugbyUnion) November 1, 2019

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