Williams and North seal it for Scarlets


Connacht 11 Scarlets 24:Jordan Williams grabbed two tries but it was George North who did all the damage as Scarlets came from behind to seal the victory over Connacht and move back to the top of the RaboDirect Pro12 table at the Sportsground.

The 20-year-old Wales star was at his destructive best in the second half as the Scarlets, trailing 8-0 at half-time, ignored a blustering headwind to roar back and seal an impressive victory.

Behind by six points in the closing stages, Connacht refused to settle for a losing bonus point and, roared on by the home crowd, pushed for the converted try they needed, but their hopes were dashed when Jonathan Davies intercepted in the final minute and streaked clear.

After a scrappy start by both sides at a windswept Sportsground, it was Connacht who drew first blood with outhalf Miah Nikora slotting home his first penalty of the afternoon on 10 minutes, seven minutes after Rhys Priestland missed his first effort for the Scarlets.

And as half-time approached, Connacht found themselves with possession in the opponent's half and they made it pay despite needing two attempts to score the try.

Some fine hands from Connacht's big forwards appeared to have put Eoin Griffin in on the left-hand side but the Scarlets held the centre just short but from the resulting scrum the ball was spread back over to the right, allowing Griffin to dot down in the corner.

Nikora's conversion attempt dropped short however, leaving Connacht to take an 8-0 lead into the half-time interval.

After the break the Scarlets came out firing and it was unsurprising that North was at the fore, making all the running before finding 18-year-old fullback Williams who crossed for his first Pro12 try before Priestland converted to trim Connacht's lead to just one.

The wave of Scarlets pressure was to tell againm, with North steamrollering his way down the right wing to grab his fourth try of the season, but Priestland failed again with the conversion.

Connacht were shell-shocked and the Scarlets threatened streak clear when the slippery Williams jinked his way over for his second try of the match on 52 minutes but the wind was playing havoc for Priestland.

He failed to add the extras and after weathering the storm, Kiwi Nikora finally scored Connacht's first points of the half on 62 minutes to take them to within a score of Scarlets, 17-11 down.

It looked a case of how many Scarlets would rack up but some stoic Connacht defence, and a few knock-ons when the visitors were well placed, they failed to add to their total.

And in the closing stages, the hosts threatened to steal an unlikely victory only for a forward pass to deny flying winger Fetu'u Vainikolo the chance to open his legs. Scarlets had the final say as Davies eased over and Williams converted.

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