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Scarlets home run continues

jmcconnell 7 May 2006

Llanelli Scarlets racked up their seventh consecutive home win in the League against a below-strength Munster side at Stradey Park.

The Scarlets relied on their forward power to gain dominance and ensure that they stay well placed in the race for automatic qualification for the Heineken Cup next year.

It was Munster who were first on the scoreboard after 15 minutes thanks to a 35-yard penalty from fly-half Jeremy Manning after the Scarlets were caught offside at a ruck. But with the home forwards gaining a stranglehold, the Scarlets managed to respond just three minutes before the half-time whistle. The Munster scrum was under pressure all evening and five yards out they eventually buckled with outstanding Wales number eight Alix Popham touching down. However, fly-half Craig Evans, on his Celtic League debut, missed with the simple conversion.

Manning made no mistake 12 minutes after the resumption and Munster were back in front, although it did not last long with Evans successful from the touchline moments later.

The Stradey Park crowd of 5,754, which took the Celtic League´s attendances past the half million mark for the season for the first time in the league´s history, then witnessed Popham’s second  try thanks to a barnstorming break from replacement hooker Aled Gravelle. With little appearing on Gravelle dummied and raced clear from a maul and although he was tackled short the number eight was able to power over from close range.

Evans converted and then landed a long-range penalty from inside his own half to extend the lead to 18-6.
And although Scarlets lock Vernon Cooper was sin-binned late on, the home side were able to hold out without any scares.

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