Rugby Union: Quinnell takes the eye

Llanelli 36 Gauteng Falcons 15
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SCOTT QUINNELL and Roddy Boobyer both scored two of Llanelli's six tries in the Scarlets' second win over a South African side in this season's WRU Challenge Trophy. Victory, which also included a bonus point by virtue of the 6-2 try ratio, followed the 23-10 success over the stronger Northern Bulls the previous week.

It also puts Llanelli top of Pool B with Newport who recently defeated the Falcons 21-19. But Stradey Park's director of rugby, Gareth Jenkins, was last night far from satisfied with the latest performance.

"There were four or five gift opportunities which we missed," said Jenkins. "This was not good by the standards we have set."

The Falcons team manager, Willie Marais, saw bright features, however, even in defeat. "Our Welsh programme gives the chance to see how our new players cope in matches of this calibre before our home season starts in February," said Marais.

The Falcons, who began against Llanelli with eight of the squad who beat Wales' touring team 39-37 in June were full of praise for No 8 Quinnell who will be a key figure for Wales in the home internationals. His charging runs, invariably thrusting over the gain line and setting up quick ruck ball, were in Southern Hemisphere mould.

The irony is that Jenkins would like to see Quinnell in the open spaces more often and not being obliged to do all the big contact hits. But Llanelli have not yet the combined forward power to supplement Quinnell's game in the way that Jenkins would like to see.

There is no denying the fact that one of Llanelli's greatest assets is their second row Chris Wyatt whom Graham Henry apparently sees as a Wales lock rather than in the back row. Wyatt was seemingly everywhere, putting in telling tackles as well as ruling the line-out with Vernon Cooper.

Sean Gale scored the opening try in four minutes and was announced as the man of the match. Falcons, having conceded four tries introduced six replacements for the second half. Their next test is at Bridgend on Wednesday while Llanelli prepare for Glasgow Caledonians on Friday night.

Llanelli: Tries R Boobyer 2, S Quinnell 2, S Gale, S Jones; Conversions S Jones 3. Falcons: Tries W Roux, N Rossouw; Conversions C Potgieter; Penalty R van As.

Llanelli: D Williams; G Evans (G John, 34), N Davis (capt), S Finau, R Boobyer; S Jones, A Thomas; P Booth (P Jones h-t), J Hyatt, S Gale, V Cooper (A Copsey, h-t), C Wyatt, D Hodges, S Quinnell, I Jones (I Boobyer, 77).

Gauteng Falcons: P Matthys; P van Deventer, W Lourens, E Meyer (capt), W Geyer (C Potgieter, 26-28); R van As (Potgieter 42), A Nel (J Taljaard 42); G Williamson (W Roux, 42), P Grobler (D van der Walt, h/t), J Espag, G Pitzer, W Vlok, D Wetstrydom (R Volschenk, h/t), N Rossouw, A Rohr (Barrnard, 54).

Referee: J Dume (France).