Watkins stakes international claim

Llanelli Scarlets 37 - Edinburgh 16

The Scarlets centre Matthew Watkins turned on the style in front of the Wales coach Mike Ruddock on Saturday to put his hand up for a Test place for the autumn internationals.

Watkins scored a try and had a hand in two others as the Scarlets defeated a brave but outclassed Edinburgh side to get their Celtic League campaign back on track. The former Newport centre is in the mix to add to his six Test caps as Ruddock weighs up his options in the absence of Iestyn Harris, who has returned to rugby league, and his performance was all class.

It was the kind of catalyst that the Scarlets coach Gareth Jenkins was looking for after depressing defeats against the Neath-Swansea Ospreys and the Newport-Gwent Dragons.

"I'm reasonably pleased with the performance," he said. "We tried to play rugby, scored five tries and possibly resurrected ourselves after some of the negative emotions of the past few days. After the hard rugby of the all-Welsh derbies, it was good to throw the ball around and the boys are feeling very good at the moment."

Watkins brought the Stradey Park crowd to their feet with a superb break in the fifth minute to set up the winger Tal Selley for an early try, before scoring himself and then chipping the ball through for the fly-half Arwel Thomas to take the Scarlets' lead to 22-3 after barely 20 minutes.

Edinburgh, led by the irrepressible former All Black captain Todd Blackadder, were never too far off the pace and it took two late tries from the home side to stretch the scoreline.

The trusty boot of Chris Paterson and a try to the full-back Hugo Southwell brought the Scottish side back into contention in the second half, but the Scarlets gained late scores from the veteran centre Mark Taylor and the winger Garan Evans to give them a deserved 21-point victory.

Scarlets: Tries Selley, Watkins, A Thomas, Taylor, Evans; Conversions A Thomas 2, Bowen; Penalties A Thomas, Bowen. Edinburgh: Try Southwell; Conversion Paterson; Penalties Paterson 3.

Scarlets: B Davies; G Evans, M Watkins, M Taylor, T Selley; A Thomas (G Bowen, 40), M Phillips (R Jones, 73); I Thomas, M Rees, J Davies (J Thiel, 69), V Cooper (C Wyatt, 13-26 & 43-56), A Jones, S Easterby (capt), A Powell, G Thomas.

Edinburgh: H Southwell; S Webster (M Pyke, 40), M Di Rollo, C Joiner, C Paterson; B Laney (D Lee, 45), M Blair; A Jacobsen, A Kelly (D Hall, 46), J Brannigan, N Hines, A Kellock, T Blackadder (capt), S Cross, A Hogg.

Referee: D Courtney (Ireland)

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'