Scarlets 27 Bristol 0: Scarlets bid farewell to Stradey in rousing finale

Scarlets brought down the curtain on 129 years of rugby at Stradey Park with a comprehensive win over Bristol in the EDF Energy Cup in a night dominated by celebrations marking the end of an era.

A sell-out crowd watched the Scarlets final game at Stradey before the ground is demolished for housing and the club moves two miles down the road to their new stadium, Parc y Scarlets. The emotional evening for the Scarlets began with live music and a parade of surviving Stradey Park captains including Phil Bennett, who was celebrating his 60th birthday.

The three-try win took Scarlets to the top of Group D, although they missed out on a fourth try and a bonus point. They fielded a side showing four changes from the team that went down 37-15 to Stade Francais in Paris last Saturday. Bristol selected a mostly second-string outfit with only wing Lee Robinson keeping his place from the starting line-up which beat Toulon last Friday, their first victory of the season.

The match began with a try worthy of the occasion when the impressive Regan King went on an arcing run down the right and put Morgan Stoddart over on three minutes. But after that, although the Scarlets had the better platform, the first half rather lost its way.

It took a Stephen Jones penalty on 16 minutes from a ruck to extend the Scarlets' lead to 10-0, but it was Bristol, through a counter-attack from scrum-half Haydn Thomas and wing Lee Robinson, who looked likely to score next until Scarlets regrouped.

In the dying minutes of the half, a break by Wales wing Mark Jones set up a position from which captain Simon Easterby scored a try, awarded after a referral to the television match official. Jones converted to give his side a 17-0 interval lead.

It was Jones who was first to put points on the board in the second half with a 49th-minute penalty from in front of the posts before Stoddart sent Rob Higgitt over against his former club. The Scarlets had an abundance of chances to grab the bonus-point try, especially through runs down the right by Stoddart, but failed.

Outside-half Jones said: "It was a great occasion. There were a lot of pre-match nerves. We wanted to get a win to give this great stadium a send off. We had to concentrate on the rugby side of things and not let the emotion get to us."

Scorers: Scarlets Tries: Stoddart, Easterby, Higgitt. Cons: S Jones (3) Pens: S Jones (3)

Scarlets: Stoddart; Higgitt, King, Evans, M Jones; S Jones, Martens; I Thomas, Owens, Meeuws, Cooper, Day, N Thomas, Easterby (c), Lyons. Replacements: Davies for G Evans (62), C Thomas for M Jones (67), Roberts for Martens (59), Rees for Owen (53), John for Meeuws (53), D Jones for Cooper (41).

Bristol: Elliott; Robinson, Eves, Fatialofa, Turner; Ashwin, Thomas; Irish, Linklater, Crompton, Sambucetti, Sidoli, Salter, R Pennycook, Blowers. Replacements: Maggs for Fatialofa (58), Alford for Thomas (66), Blaney for Linklater (62), Bracken for Crompton (64), C Pennycook for Blowers (64).

Referee: D Bodilly

nThe Welsh Rugby Union last night won the first round of a legal argument with its four professional regional teams over player release in advance of the meeting with South Africa in Cardiff a fortnight today. Judge Havelock Allan QC instructed the regions to free players for international squad training from Monday to Wednesday next week, despite the proximity of key matches in the Anglo-Welsh Cup.


general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born daughter, their second child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on 2 May 2015.
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before