With Head Coach, Wayne Pivac describing this fixture as ‘probably our biggest test since we took over as a coaching group,’ the visit of Benetton Rugby will not be the guaranteed five-point victory that it has been in the past.
The resurgence in the Italians this season has been evident, and Benetton will be buoyed with the news that their nineteen strong International contingent have been made available for the fixture. In contrast, the Scarlets have Hadleigh Parkes and Scott Williams available from Wales, along with John Barclay who makes a welcome return from his head injury.
It was the Scarlets that opened the scoring with a well-struck penalty from Outside Half Dan Jones who slotted over the 3 points following a period of attack from the home team.
An error from Benetton’s Scrum Half Giorgio Bronzini who fumbled the ball on his own try line offered the Scarlets a perfect opportunity to open the try scoring and they did just that with the forwards providing the perfect platform for Jonathan Evans to off-load to Dan Jones who side-stepped his way over the line. Adding the simple conversion gave the Scarlets an early 10 point to 0 lead.
Benetton opened their account with a simple penalty attempt from Outside Half Ian McKinley as the Scarlets strayed off-side to bring the Italians back to within a try – 10 points to 3.
As the rain fell on Parc y Scarlets, the home team continued to attack, somehow stringing together an impressive array of passes before almost inevitably losing the ball forward in the deteriorating conditions.
An extended period of attacking pressure in the Italian’s 22 saw the Scarlets test the Benetton defence before opting for the penalty attempt to increase their lead as Dan Jones maintained his 100% record with the boot to give his side a 13 point to 3 lead.
It was the Italians that opened the scoring in the second half with Outside Half Ian McKinley continuing the tradition of the points being scored by the Number 10’s as he squeezed over in the corner for Benetton’s first try of the evening. His conversion attempt was wide of the posts as Treviso narrowed the Scarlets’ lead to 13 points to 8.
Great field position set the Scarlets up nicely in their quest for their second try, however the home team certainly made hard work of turning their immense pressure into points as both Lewis Rawlins and Will Boyde did everything but score.
A yellow card for Andrea Bronzin for knocking on a pass a metre from his try line offered the Scarlets a man advantage, however, Referee George Clancy decided against awarding the Scarlets a penalty try and the home team were left without reward for their efforts.
The Scarlets finally managed to turn the considerable pressure into points as Captain Scott Williams pounced on the loose ball for the home team’s second try. Dan Jones added the extras as the Scarlets headed into the last 10 minutes of the game with a 20 point to 8 advantage, finally giving them a little breathing space.
Despite pressure from the visitors the Scarlets held on to maintain their home league record that has stood since Munster’s victory the first fixture of last season.
With the Autumn Internationals looming, the Pro14 takes a break for two weeks with Anglo Welsh Cup action at Parc Y Scarlets next weekend with the Scarlets facing the Exeter Chiefs next Sunday, November 12th 2017.
Final Score – Scarlets 20 – Benetton Rugby – 8
Can YOU Help?… we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the West Wales Chronicle than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The West Wales Chronicle’s independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too.
If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as £1, you can support the Chronicle – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.