Llanelli RFC 28 -24 Swansea RFC ( pic MOM Craig Price)
TWO tries from centre Nic Reynolds helped Llanelli take the honours in a hard-fought and pulsating Parc y Scarlets derby.
But in the only Welsh Premiership action of the day, Llanelli did not have it their own way as the All Whites, who deserved a losing bonus point, scored 15 unanswered second half points.
Llanelli failed to get a try bonus point, but still went into third place in the table after a fifth straight league win.
The hosts took the early initiative after both fly-halves – Owen Williams and Sam Davies – had swapped penalties.
A Swansea gift saw Williams intercept on their 10-metre line to send Reynolds away to the line with a cheeky pass out of the back door, before a second Davies penalty closed the gap to four points.
Llanelli lost Scarlets’ Argentine lock Tomas Vallejos early on, but they were still boosted by the presence of Wales prop Rhodri Jones in a dominant scrum.
But despite Llanelli having the lion’s share of ball in hand, the visitors stayed in touch at 13-9 as both fly-halves again swapped penalties.
That all changed just a minute before the break however as No. 8 Craig Price raced over from a Williams pass. Williams added the extras for a 20-9 Llanelli lead at the interval.
But not before both captains had a talking to from referee Neil Perkins for a scrap.
Swansea’s cause was not helped when their No. 8 Dan Baker was sin-binned for tipping at a line-out just three minutes into the second half.
And down to 14 men, they leaked a third try when Reynolds crossed again following a dominant scrum and a jinking run towards the line by scrum-half Ryan Jones.
But the All Whites then made a dramatic comeback to close the gap to just 25-24 with a fourth penalty for Davies and then two tries in six minutes from captain Paul John and Sam Kiley after prop Craig Cross joined Baker in the bin.
A third binning saw Whites wing Rhys Williams receive a yellow card as Llanelli eased the pressure with a third Williams penalty.
But it was all too close for comfort for the home side as the match entered the final 10 minutes with Swansea piling on the pressure.
Swansea lost the ball going for what would have been a dramatic victory and Llanelli went up the other end in search of the bonus point.
Scorers: Llanelli: Tries – N Reynolds (2), C Price; pens – O Williams (3); cons – O Williams (2). Swansea: tries – P John, S Kiley; pens – S Davies (4) con – S Davies.
Courtesy of Walesonline