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Scarlets Progress To Heineken Cup Quarter-finals

Scarlets Progress To Heineken Cup Quarter-finals


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The sizzling Scarlets surged through to the quarter finals of the Heineken
Cup with a clinical demolition job on the woeful Warriors at Hughenden last

Not only did the men from Stradey Park complete their qualification task in
devastating style – they also boosted their hopes of a home tie by improving
their try-tally.

There was no way back for the Scots after they were rocked by a
five-touchdown burst in 18 first-half minutes and wing Garan Evans was the
assassin-in-chief with a hat-trick.

Both sides had made late changes to their squads. Veteran Test scrum-half
Andy Nicol was forced to pull out of bench duties after picking up a back
injury – while Llanelli brought Luke Gross into the second row in place of
Vernon Cooper, with Jamie Cudmore joining the subs.

The opening exchanges were predictably nervy with basic errors being
committed by either team.

But it was Glasgow who mounted the first meaningful attack down the middle
of the field.

Tommy Hayes freed centre partner Alan Bulloch with a slick inside pass.
Bulloch raced round two markers before finding flanker Donnie Macfadyen on
his shoulder.

Macfadyen scuttled deep into the danger-zone before being felled – and the
Scarlets were reprieved when he knocked on in the tackle.

The eager Warriors kept up the pressure with fine charges from Gordon
Simpson and Alan Bulloch again.

And they fully deserved to break the deadlock when Hayes slotted an angled
penalty in the 13th minute for offside.

Llanelli were handed an instant chance to level the issue when the home men
were guilty of failing to release in contact, but with the breeze in their
faces, they opted to kick for touch instead of the posts.

The decision didn’t pay instant dividends, but they kept their patience and
within five minutes full-back Barry Davies skipped across on the overlap
wide on the right.

Stephen Jones made light of the driving rain to slot the conversion – and to
add to Glasgow’s worries, scrum-half Graeme Beveridge was helped off with a
body injury and replaced by Nicol’s deputy, Chris Black.

The Scarlets then thrilled their huge travelling support with another superb
score. Wing Mark Jones scooped up his own chip into enemy territory and
flipped the ball to skipper Leigh Davies.

Prop Martyn Madden was perfectly positioned to accept the link-pass and
although he was blocked a few paces short, he had enough momentum to reach
the line. Jones was unlucky to see his kick strike the outside of the near

Llanelli effectively killed off the Warriors in the 29th minute, with the
help of referee Tony Spreadbury.

The English official missed a blatant spill in midfield seconds before the
slippery Evans outpaced the markers to squeeze in at the corner.

There was no debating the validity of try No4 five minutes later, however,
as Evans dashed through the same channel in the wake of good work by Stephen
Jones and Simon Easterby.

The rout continued almost immediately when Stephen Jones darted through
himself from close-range – then clipping over the simple conversion.

There was no interruption to the trend after the interval as Evans completed
his treble following an exchange of passes with Matthew Watkins.

Wing Jon Steel snatched a late consolation try for Glasgow.

Glasgow Rugby 8 Llanelli 34
HT: 3-29 Attendance: 3,207
Glasgow Rugby: Try – J Steel; Pen – T Hayes
Llanelli: Tries – G Evans 3, B Davies, M Madden, S Jones; Cons – S Jones 2

Llanelli qualify for quarter-finals as Pool 3 winners

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