Llanelli Scarlets put Gwent Dragons to the sword at Stradey Park last night - and were promptly rewarded with a Celtic Cup quarter-final home draw against Irish minnows Connacht on 3 October.
The Scarlets - the cup kings of Welsh rugby - ran the Dragons ragged with five tries as they used their extra pace to devastating effect. Right wing Sel Telley cashed in with their first and final touchdowns as the backs profited from a dominant pack.
The visitors were fighting a losing battle after falling behind in only the second minute to the first of three successful penalties by fly-half Gareth Bowen, exploiting the absence of the World Cup-bound Stephen Jones. A break, kick and chase by scrum-half Dale Burn had the Dragons' alarm bells ringing again, while Bowen's boot inflicted further damage as he punished an Andy Marinos infringement with his second penalty.
A brief flare-up required referee Nigel Williams to issue "cool it" messages to captains Marinos and Leigh Davies, and the Dragons responded with a penalty from Lee Jarvis.
Jarvis soon added a second penalty but also suffered double despair in quick succession when he pulled a penalty wide and had an attempted clearance charged down by Selley. The wing got his hands to the ball for the opening try just before it went dead. Any Dragons' hopes of making an instant reply vanished when No 8 Emyr Lewis made the initial dent before Matthew Watkins released full-back Barry Davies for a cracking try that Bowen converted.
Bowen was well short with an ambitious drop-goal attempt from almost halfway, but by then the Scarlets were asking all the questions. Davies set up try No 3, shrugging off two attempted tackles and releasing left wing Richard Rees who kicked ahead, benefited from a kind bounce and outpaced the Dragons' defence. Replacement scrum-half Michael Phillips went over for the fourth, a fine solo effort, before Selley's coup de grâce.
Llanelli: B Davies; T Selley, M Watkins, L Davies (capt), R Rees; G Bowen, D Burn (M Phillips, 60); D Maddocks (P John, 72), A Gravelle (R Williams, 74), J Davies, V Cooper, A Jones, C Wyatt, E Lewis (B Griffiths, 60), I Boobyer (G Williams, 72).
Gwent: B Davey; N Brew, A Marinos (capt), S Winn (H Luscombe, 50), B Breeze; L Jarvis (C Warlow, 50), R Jones (B Shelbourne, 65); A Black, S Jones, C Anthony (D Pattison, 69), I Gough, P Sidoli (L Charteris, 69), S van Rensburg, R Oakley (J Ringer, 50; J Richards, 72), J Forster.
Referee: N Williams (WRU).Reuse content