Dragons make history with Scarlets win
Dragons scored two tries in a thrilling final ten minutes as they stunned Scarlets 37-28 to record a first-ever United Rugby Championship win at Parc y Scarlets.
Trailing by six points with seven minutes remaining, the Men of Gwent incredibly turned the game on its head with sensational scores from Taylor Davies and Rhodri Williams.
In a thrilling encounter earlier scores from Jack Dixon, Taine Basham and Jared Rosser kept Dragons in a contest where they again showed plenty of attacking treat and defensive resilience.
Fly half Sam Davies also become only the fourth player to reach 1,000 points in the league.
And the late dramatic burst ensured maximum points before the return clash at Rodney Parade.
Dragons suffered a blow as early as the fourth minute with a groggy Elliot Dee replaced by Davies after a heavy collision in midfield.
Referee Ben Whitehouse and the TMO were then thrust into the middle of the action after seven minutes.
Full back Josh Lewis was left on the turf after a high tackle by home captain Jonathan Davies, but after consultation the decision was made that the offence was a yellow card. Fly half Sam Davies struck the right-hand post with the resulting penalty.
Scarlets were then down to 13 men as Steff Evans was sin binned for illegal work at the breakdown, slowing down ball after a superb break from Rio Dyer and Lewis.
Lewis was soon replaced, still feeling the effects of the big hit, and replaced by young full back David Richards.
Dragons - with two extra men - looked to capitalise on the numerical advantage immediately as Dixon burst under the posts and Sam Davies added the extras.
Sam Costelow reduced the lead but Dragons were playing some incisive rugby as Adam Warren and Harri Keddi combined down the right wing until Scarlets swooped to force a breakdown penalty.
Back to 15 men, Scarlets turned the screw just before the half hour and went ahead after pressure told as Sione Kalamafoni dived over from close range and Costelow added the extras.
Dragons looked to hit back with Aaron Wainwright the catalyst as he produced a breath-taking break of the back of the scrum before Bertranou and Richards broke into the 22.
The Men of Gwent then showed great composure as they rattled up close through the forwards before Wales ace Basham rolled out of tackles to score.
But Scarlets wrestled back a one-point lead on the stroke of half time as they went wide at pace and Liam Williams dived in the corner.
Dragons started the second half on fire and went back ahead on 43 minutes as Dixon broke the line – showing awareness to take advantage of an incomplete tackle - and fed Rosser to blaze over.
A topsy-turvy game continued with Johnny Williams the man to benefit with a try after a kind bounce following an outrageous blind pass from Liam Williams on the touchline.
Hardy sent the home side further ahead, with Aki Seiuli also yellow carded after persistent infringements by Dragons.
Dragons continued to show real heart with Warren nearly breaking clear before the home side stood firm under huge forward pressure to win a penalty for holding on.
Warren then ripped ball and darted down the right wing before Scarlets lost another man to the sin bin for a knock on to spark the most dramatic of finishes.
First Taylor Davies was driven over – with Davies converting for 1,000 points in URC – before a break down the left saw Rhodri Williams dive in.
Davies stroked over a late penalty to add gloss to the score line after a stunning performance from Dragons.
12m Dixon t Davies c 0-7
16m Costelow p 3-7
26m Kalamafoni t Costelow c 10-7
32m Basham t Davies c 10-14
40m L. Williams t 15-14
43m Rosser t Davies c 15-21
54m J. Williams t O’Brien c 22-21
60m Hardy t 27-21
73m T. Davies t S Davies c 27-28
75m R. Williams t Davies c 27-35
79m Davies p 27-38
Scarlets: Liam Williams, Corey Baldwin, Joe Roberts, Jonathan Davies, Steff Evans, Sam Costelow, Kieran Hardy, Steff Thomas, Shaun Evans, Javan Sebastian, Jac Price, Morgan Jones, Aaron Shingler, Tomas Lezana, Sione Kalamafoni
Replacements: Daf Hughes, Rob Evans, Harri O’Connor, Blade Thomson, Josh Macleod, Dane Blacker, Angus O’Brien, Johnny Williams
Dragons: Josh Lewis (Richards 12), Jared Rosser, Adam Warren, Jack Dixon, Rio Dyer, Sam Davies, Gonzalo Bertranou (Williams 53); Aki Seiuli (Reynolds 72), Elliot Dee (Davies 4), Leon Brown (Coleman 59), Ben Carter, Will Rowlands, Harri Keddie, Taine Basham (Fry 53), Aaron Wainwright
Replacements: Taylor Davies, Josh Reynolds, Chris Coleman, Joe Davies, Ben Fry, Rhodri Williams, Will Reed, David Richards
Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)