The Scarlets picked up an impressive 37-28 home win over the third-placed Bulls in a thrilling eight-go game.

The home side led 27-7 at one stage, but a strong second-half performance from the South Africans saw them nearly clinch a Rugby Union Championship win at Parc y Scarlets on Friday night. Dan Davies, Kemsley Mathias, Gareth Davies and Jonny McNicholl scored tries for the Scarlets, Sam Costelow had three penalties and three conversions and Dan Jones also had a try.

Stravino Jacobs, Zach Burger, Cyle Brink and Simphiwe Matanzima scored tries for the Bulls, while Chris Smith converted all four.

A Costelow penalty gave the Scarlets the lead, but the Bulls soon responded with their first try. After the restart, the home team lost possession, allowing the Bulls to increase the pressure before Burger charged from close range.

Scarlets’ response was swift as Davies initially evaded a defender before the winger scored another try and won a vital pass.

This allowed the home side to win a five-metre scrum, which Mathias broke away from and a second Costelow conversion gave his team a 17–7 lead at the end of a spirited first quarter.

Things got worse for the South Africans when they lost possession in the opposition’s half and Dafydd Hughes slipped away.

As the ball was recycled, Costelow dropped the ball downfield and Davies easily won the run to collect and score.

Costelow converted and scored a penalty before his team conceded a blow when defender Joe Roberts was deliberately declared offside.

The Bulls immediately capitalized when Jacobs connected with Smith’s cross kick and Smith converted to make their team 27-14 at halftime.

Three minutes after the restart, Roberts returned in time to see Costelow extend their lead with his third penalty before the Bulls were left in contention by a converted Brink try.

The Bulls continued their comeback with a bonus point try from substitute Matanzima, but twice opted for lineouts when a good shot on goal would have put them ahead.

Decisions took their toll when the Scarlets broke out. Lionel Mapo was shown a late yellow card and the hosts secured victory thanks to a McNicholl try.

Source: Wales Online