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)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
News
i100
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

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas