Jack Carty kicks Connacht to first victory in Llanelli since 2004

Win at Parc y Scarlets ends run of four straight defeats for Andy Friend’s team

Scarlets 23 Connacht 29

Jack Carty kicked Connacht to their first victory in Llanelli since 2004 to end a run of four straight defeats for Andy Friend’s side.

The Irish province recovered from a shaky start to beat a Scarlets side who butchered several gilt-edged try scoring chances. Dan Jones drew first blood for the Scarlets with a straightforward shot at goal after his forwards had applied pressure with their driving lineout.

The Irish province weren’t in the game until a moment of sheer madness from Scarlets outhalf Jones gave them a lifeline. Dwayne Peel’s side were comfortable, before Jones decided to take a penalty quickly. His misjudged crosskick was picked off by Tom Daly. The inside centre raced up-field before drawing in the final defender to put Sam Arnold over.


This resurrected Connacht who began to apply pressure in the Scarlets half, while the hosts lost their discipline. Two penalties from Carty nudged them into the lead before Jones hit back with three points of his own. But Connacht seized the initiative when Leva Fifita powered over from short-range. Carty added the extras to give Connacht an 18-13 lead at the interval.


Ireland playmaker Carty was in control of the game with his game management putting Connacht in the right areas of the field. The Scarlets were struggling for a way back into the contest with the lineout and their discipline letting them down. Carty nudged the visitors into an 11-point lead with his boot proving invaluable for the visitors.

Connacht extended their lead when John Porch crossed at the corner courtesy of some neat handling from Kieron Marmion, and Daly. To their credit the Scarlets refused to throw in the towel and were gifted a lifeline when Fifita got sent to the sin bin.

The Tonga international tackled Kieran Hardy, who took a penalty quickly, before he had made five metres with a penalty try also awarded because the Wales scrumhalf was the final man.

But Hardy butchered a gilt-edged try scoring opportunity when Williams put Sione Kalamafoni through a gap, but the Wales number nine couldn’t control the ball. The Scarlets lay siege to the Connacht try line for the next few minutes and were held up over the line twice.

Fifita then received his second yellow card after taking out Ioan Nicholas which allowed Rhys Patchell to kick the hosts to within six points of Connacht, but it was too little too late.

Scarlets: I Nicholas; R Conbeer, J Williams, S Williams, T Rogers; D Jones, D Blacker; S Thomas, D Hughes, S Lee; S Lousi, M Jones; A Shingler, S Evans, S Kalamafoni.

Replacements: M Jones for D Hughes 53 mins, J Sebastian for S Lee 43 mins, C Tuipulotu for A Shingler 63 mins, K Hardy for D Blacker 43 mins, R Patchell for D Jones 50 mins.

Connacht: T O'Halloran; P Sullivan, S Arnold, T Daly, J Porch; J Carty, K Marmion; J Duggan, D Heffernan, T Tuimaga; N Murray, L Fifita; C Prendergast, J Butler, P Boyle.

Replacements: S Delahunt for D Heffernan 65 mins, J Aungier for T Tuimaga 65 mins, T Farrell for S Arnold 65 mins.