Rugby Union: Quinnell's power proves too much for Swansea

Llanelli 30 Swansea 24
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IT TOOK a while to shoehorn the last few fans into an already crammed Stradey Park, but it was certainly worth the wait. This was festive fayre of the highest order with a distinct lack of goodwill to anyone.

Swansea's newly appointed team manager, Richard Moriarty, must have approved of the way in which both teams tore into each other because he spent most of his career battling against the Scarlets and warming things up in this traditional fixture.

In a non-stop first-half Derek Bevan, who gave a superb display of refereeing, sent three players to the sin-bin. He was certainly true to his fourth- minute statement to both captains, "I'm not here to mess around", which was issued after Scott Gibbs squared up to his opposite number, Salesi Finau, and Simon Easterby threw a sneak punch in a general free-for-all. The penalty against Easterby allowed Arwel Thomas to kick the first of his five goals and give the visitors the lead for the first and only time.

Llanelli were dealt another blow when their scrum-half, Rupert Moon, became the first of Mr Bevan's sin-bin hat trick - Garin Jenkins and Finau followed him. Moon went for stamping at a ruck, but while he was on the sidelines the Scarlets conjured up their first try. The Wales No 8 Scott Quinnell picked up at the base of the scrum and sent Steve Jones in at the corner for a try which the outside-half converted himself.

Quinnell inspired the next score midway through the first-half with a dive off another scrum which led to a try by Chris Wyatt. Jones once again converted from wide out and Llanelli seemed to be cruising.

But Swansea hit back with a try by Kevin Morgan, which Thomas converted, and by the interval the gap was a mere four points.

The scene was set for a rip-roaring second-half and the 10,000-plus crowd were certainly not disappointed. Quinnell gained his reward with his team's third try, then Matthew Robinson's effort 12 minutes from time set up a tense finish.

Llanelli: Tries S Jones, C Wyatt, S Quinnell; Conversions S Jones 3; Penalties S Jones 3. Swansea: Tries K Morgan, M Robinson; Conversion A Thomas; Penalties A Thomas 4.

Llanelli: M Cardey; W Proctor (capt), D James, S Finau (N Boobyer, 62), G Evans; S Jones, R Moon; P Booth, R McBryde, J Davies, C Wyatt, C Gillies (V Cooper, 69), S Easterby (H Jenkins, 62), I Boobyer, S Quinnell.

Swansea: K Morgan; R Rees, M Taylor, S Gibbs (capt), S Payne (M Robinson, 58); A Thomas, R Jones; D Morris, G Jenkins, B Evans, T Maullin (P Arnold, 49), A Moore, C Charvis, D Thomas (C Wells, 18-28, R Appleyard, 28), P Moriarty.

Referee: D Bevan (Clydach).