Throwback Thursday: Seven-try Edinburgh blitz Scarlets

Rich Dore
13 February 2020

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“If you can wrap everything that could go wrong into one performance, that was it.”

That was Scarlets head coach Brad Mooar’s summary of how things unfolded when they last faced Edinburgh Rugby – it was one to forget for the Welsh region.

The two sides prepare to do battle once again this weekend as the Guinness PRO14 kicks back into action with every team involved.

Will Scarlets gain revenge after their 46-7 defeat in Round 4? Or will Edinburgh inflict further damage on their Conference B rivals? Let’s take a trip down memory lane to see what happened last time…

HOW IT WENT DOWN

Scarlets arrived at BT Murrayfield without a win there in six years but under new head coach Mooar, the confidence was high having won their opening few games of the season.

What was to follow, however, was nothing short of an assault from Richard Cockerill’s men.

South African winger Duhan van der Merwe did not take much time getting himself into the swing of the things, crossing over for two tries in the opening ten minutes. It appeared to set the tone for the rest of the evening.

Van der Merwe’s flourish was then backed up by his compatriot Mike Willemse and centre Mark Bennett as they dotted down to sew up the try-scoring bonus point before the half-time whistle.

Leading 26-0 at the interval, Edinburgh’s job appeared to be wrapped up – but they were in no mood to stop there.

After Scarlets’ Marc Jones pushed over for a simple score to get the visitors on the scoreboard, Edinburgh restored authority on proceedings with Willemse grabbing his second only a few minutes later.

With the result sealed, van der Merwe added another to register a hat-trick of tries before Fijian Eroni Sau closed the game out with Edinburgh’s seventh of the night.

What makes the scoreline even more remarkable is that Scarlets had the lion’s share of possession and territory. However, it was the clinical edge that provided Edinburgh the cards to secure a comprehensive win.

WHAT THEY SAID AT THE TIME

Scarlets head coach Brad Mooar:

“Early on, we weren’t at the races and gave them opportunities, it is little moments that add up and all of a sudden they got a roll on and we looked pretty flat so that’s something we can easily rectify and make sure we have a spring in our step for next week,” said the New Zealander.

“It is a tough old pill to swallow, but sometimes you have just got to take your medicine and usually when you take your medicine you get better.”

Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill:

“I didn’t really know what to expect from Scarlets apart from they were unbeaten and that they’ve had some good results,” said Cockerill.

“We’re delighted with the win. We did some really good things, ball in hand – our game’s developing well but I still think the foundations of our game are strong too – our lineouts, our exits, our scrum, our driving game.

“Credit to the players, because they were dangerous tonight and they looked really strong, especially when inside the Scarlets 22m.”

REDEMPTION ON THE CARDS?

Four months on from that night in Edinburgh, Brad Mooar’s side will be hungry for revenge on their Conference B counterparts. It was the New Zealander’s first defeat as Scarlets boss.

On Saturday, Scarlets play hosts and will look to take advantage of their impeccable Championship form at home, having not lost a game since last April.

The bad news? The team on that occasion was Edinburgh, who have registered four straight wins over Saturday’s opponents. They also edge the head-to-head record 18-14.

However, with last time out still etched into Scarlets’ memories, the fire in the dragon’s belly could see them spark revenge. A win would also take them top of the Conference B standings.

It’s all to play for at Parc y Scarlets.

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