Scarlets go ahead of Connacht
Narrow win at Treviso enough for Scarlets to go top of the Pro12 table
Morgan Allen crashes over the line for the Scarlets. Photo: Inpho
Treviso 20 Scarlets 22
Scarlets are top of the Pro12 after Steve Shingler’s late penalty gave them a 22-20 win over bottom side Treviso at the Stadio Comunale di Monigo.
Wayne Pivac’s side have now won eight of their last nine games and they sit top of the standings after previous leaders Connacht lost to Cardiff Blues on Friday night.
Replacement Shingler kicked the vital penalty to win the game with four minutes left after Aled Thomas had earlier kicked two conversions for Scarlets, while Jayden Hayward’s boot provided five points for Treviso.
Christie got Treviso, who are still yet to win this season, off to the perfect start by going over after just seven minutes.
New Zealander Hayward started the free-flowing move with a searing break on halfway. After he shipped it wide, Christie followed up to receive wing Andrea Pratichetti’s inside ball and go over for an easy score, which Hayward converted with ease.
That lead lasted just four minutes, though, with Allen dragging three tacklers over the line with him as he touched down to give the Welsh side points from their first foray forwards. Fly-half Thomas had no problems adding the extras.
Scarlets loosehead Rob Evans was the unlikely provider as his perfectly-weighted miss pass sent Canadian try machine Van Der Merwe in at the corner, putting the visitors in front for the first time after 26 minutes.
This time Thomas failed with a tough kick from out wide and Hayward then reduced the deficit with an easy penalty for Treviso, making it 12-10 to Scarlets at the break.
Like he did in the first half, Allen made sure Scarlets profited from their first attack after the restart, crashing over from close range to make it 19-10 after Thomas added the conversion for the visitors.
Gori gave the hosts hope after 58 minutes, collecting his own hack up-field to score after a scrappy breakdown. Hayward missed the conversion but Scarlets’ lead was cut to 19-15.
When Christie dived over for his second try — Hayward missed the conversion — it gave Treviso a 20-19 advantage with seven minutes remaining, but Shingler was on target with a crucial late penalty to seal the win.