Rugby Union: Wyatt inspires charging Scarlets

Pontypridd 12 Llanelli 42
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The Independent Online
THE HOUSE of pain turned into the house of gain for Llanelli as they notched their fourth win in five outings this season over Pontypridd to move within spitting distance of the Premier Division title.

Their previous win at Sardis Road had set them on their way to a 14th Swalec Cup final. They crushed Ponty in the final of the WRU Challenge Trophy and now they have three home games left in which to hold on to a 13-point lead at the top of the Premier Division.

It seems to be all over bar the shouting for the Scarlets in the title race and their canny coach, Gareth Jenkins, is now plotting how best to get the maximum effort out of his leading players before meeting Swansea in the Cup final on 15 May.

One of his leading performers, the Wales lock Chris Wyatt, came up trumps last night with two tries and once again his all-round play was an inspiration. Throughout the hard slog of the first half, Wyatt caused the home pack plenty of problems, while in the second period he was popping up all over the place.

Ponty emerged for the game in what can only be described as a patched- up fashion. They had to play scrum-half Paul John at No 10 and borrow Robert Sidoli from neighbouring Methyr to play in the second row. However, they gave it the gun for an hour with the No 8 Dale McIntosh in rousing form.

In fact, Pontypridd took the lead through two penalties by John and it was not until their international flanker Martyn Williams had been sent to the sin-bin that Llanelli were able to score their first try.

But a four-minute period around the half-time interval proved crucial as the visitors notched two penalties and bagged a try by the Tongan centre Salesi Finau to give themselves a 12-point lead.

The English referee, Ashley Rowden, sent two more players to the sin- bin and as the game wore on so spaces emerged for Llanelli to exploit, three more tries from the visitors flowing in the final quarter.

Pontypridd: Penalties John 4. Llanelli: Tries Wyatt 2, Finau, Jenkins, Thomas; Conversions Heyward 4; Penalties Heyward 3

Pontypridd: K Morgan; G O Lewis, J Lewis, S Lewis, D James; Paul John, M Taylor; A Griffiths, A Lamerton, N Tau, A Freeman, R Sidoli, G P Lewis, D McIntosh (capt), M Williams.

Llanelli: C Warlow; W Proctor, S Finau, S Jones, G Evans; B Hayward, R Moon; M Madden, R McBryde (capt), J Davies, V Cooper, C Wyatt, D Hodges, H Jenkins, I Boobyer.

Referee: A Rowden (RFU).