Swift's try gives poor Scarlets the blues

Llanelli Scarlets 21 Connacht 29

Llanelli's crisis deepened last night as they fell victim to the Irish minnows Connacht at home. The Scarlets were outscored by four tries to two in an inept performance that will leave their coach, Gareth Jenkins, with some major questions to answer ahead of the daunting Heineken Cup opener with Toulouse in two weeks' time.

The defending Celtic League champions were under intense pressure to produce an emphatic response to their many critics, and three of the players Llanelli are banking their future on combined to give the home side an early advantage.

Gareth Bowen, who has the onerous job of filling Stephen Jones' boots at No 10, slotted over his first penalty after three minutes before the centre Matthew Watkins featured twice in the move that led to a try for the scrum-half Dwayne Peel.

Having taking the initiative, however, Llanelli were soon to find a young but committed Connacht team frustratingly resilient as they failed to turn a glut of possession into more points. That frustration was exacerbated when the Irish visitors struck with their first attack, three minutes into first-half injury time, as the scrum-half Conor O'Loughlin scrambled over despite protests from Llanelli that he had lost the ball in the process.

Connacht continued to show scant regard for their hosts after the break, with a clinical edge to their finishing that Llanelli were missing. There was no doubt about Connacht's second try, either, as the wing Ted Robinson picked up from the base of a ruck and scampered over from 25 metres out to leave the Stradey Park crowd in a stunned silence.

Llanelli huffed and puffed but it was Connacht who struck again on the hour when Conor McPhillips barged over in the corner following James Downey's tackle-busting run. The Scarlets finally replied when their big flanker Dafydd Jones was shoved over by the rest of his pack, this time to Connacht's fury after they felt they had prevented the Wales international from touching down.

But their response was decisive as the flanker Mike Swift flopped over the line in injury time to secure a first win at Stradey Park that sends them to third in the table.

Llanelli: G Evans; T Selley, M Watkins, M Taylor, S Finau; G Bowen, D Peel (M Watkins, 40); I Thomas, M Rees, J Davies (P John, 52), V Cooper (capt), A Jones (C Wyatt, 40), D Jones, S Quinnell, G Thomas.

Connacht: D Slemen; T Robinson, J Downey, M McHugh, C McPhillips; P Warwick (E Elwood, 53), C O'Loughlin; R Hogan (A Clarke, 68), J Fogarty (H Bourke, 56), S Knoop (J Mouldon, 67), P Myburgh, A Farley, M Swift, M Carroll, M Lacey.

Referee: A Ireland (Scotland)

Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
Life and Style
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits