You’ll have to be bet­ter than this, Pi­vac tells his Scar­lets

The Rugby Paper - - Guinness Pro12 - ■ By JAMES CANDY

SCAR­LETS head coach Wayne Pi­vac warned his men they will have to im­prove on their Judge­ment Day tri­umph over New­port Gwent Dragons if they are to chal­lenge for the Guin­ness PRO12 ti­tle.

Both sets of play­ers missed their op­por­tu­nity to im­press the Wales coaches in at­ten­dance with the game dead­locked at 6-6 un­til the hour mark.

Jonathan Davies fi­nally crossed the try-line be­fore Liam Wil­liams put the game be­yond doubt to leapfrog the Ospreys into third.

But the Dragons kept on fight­ing and Adam Hughes crossed af­ter the 80 min­utes to earn a los­ing bonus-point.

Pi­vac said: “We’re happy with the re­sults, we were sup­port­ing Mun­ster and the Blues to­day and those went our way. But we weren’t happy with our per­for­mance.

“We are another step closer, there are ten points left and we have another big game next week with Ospreys play­ing Ul­ster.

“We could get it sealed next week, the­o­ret­i­cally We have to play bet­ter than we did to­day and the boys cer­tainly know that.”

An­gus O’Brien fired the Dragons in-front with a penalty af­ter the Scar­lets failed to re­lease at a ruck, hav­ing missed the tar­get with an early drop-goal.

He landed another from an al­most iden­ti­cal po­si­tion to make it 6-0, and to make things worse for the West Walians, they lost star flanker James Davies to a shoul­der in­jury af­ter 18 min­utes.

Dan Jones got the Scar­lets on the scoreboard af­ter 27 min­utes fol­low­ing a no-arms tackle from Rhys Buck­ley on Jake Ball.

Bri­tish and Ir­ish Lions coach War­ren Gat­land was in at­ten­dance and had another in­jury scare when Liam Wil­liams re­ceived treat­ment on the field, but he re­cov­ered to carry on as the dour first pe­riod ended 6-3.

Jones levelled the scores be­fore he ex­ited the ac­tion, and with no out­side-half re­place­ment on the bench, wing Wil­liams as­sumed kick­ing du­ties.

The game sparked into life when Jonathan Davies broke the line and sprinted clear. He found Jonathan Evans in sup­port, but he was dragged down short by Adam Hughes.

Hughes was shown yel­low for killing the ball, and Pi­vac’s men made their man ad­van­tage count.

The Dragons of­fended again mo­ments later and the Scar­lets took a quick tap penalty and worked the ball wide to Davies, who strolled over to score a much needed try.

Wil­liams’ hit the post with the con­ver­sion but the ball crept over, be­fore O’Brien kicked a penalty to cut the gap to 13-9 with 15 min­utes re­main­ing.

The po­ten­tial Lions full­back showed Gat­land he has another string to his bow when he landed a cru­cial penalty, be­fore he made sure the Scar­lets would leapfrog the Ospreys when he fin­ished a well-worked backs move at the cor­ner.

The Dragons fought un­til the last and bagged a los­ing bonus-point with the last act when Adam Hughes fin­ished a length of the field try.

Dragons head coach Kings­ley Jones said: “I’m proud of the play­ers, they fol­lowed the game plan to­day, we de­fended well against a very good Scar­lets team, we dealt with them well.”

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