Lions break duck with late show to stun Scarlets

The result breaks the Lions duck in the URC after they suffered three tight losses in their opening three games.

A superb late show from the Lions stunned hosts Scarlets as the visitors clinched a thrilling 24-23 win in their United Rugby Championship (URC) clash at the Parc Y Scarlets in Llanelli, Wales on Saturday night.

It was not a polished performance from the Lions as they were second best for most of the game, but they stayed in range throughout, leading to the breathless finish.

ALSO READ: Lions eager to emulate Springboks and turn tight losses into wins

The Scarlets took a nine point lead into the final 10 minutes and the game was thought to be over, but a penalty brought the score to within six points with seven minutes left.

A brilliant charge down from right wing Richard Kriel with just minutes remaining on the clock allowed him to pick up the ball and offload to outside centre Henco van Wyk to go over for the winning converted try.

The result breaks the Lions duck in the URC after they lost their opening three games by two points, one point and five points respectively, with them finally managing to overturn those tight results in their favour this time.

Strong start

In the match Scarlets got off to a strong start as good early pressure led to a third minute penalty which flyhalf Ioan Lloyd slotted to give his side a 3-0 lead.

The hosts went further ahead in the 16th minute as their good pressure in the Lions half was rewarded, with an attack on the visitors 22m seeing an impressive switch move end with right wing Tom Rogers going over for the opening score, converted by Lloyd.

Five minutes later the Lions hit back as they took play into the Scarlets 22m for the first time and captain Marius Louw caught the Scarlets defence napping, picking the ball up at the ruck and ghosting through to score, with flyhalf Sanele Nohamba adding the extras to make it 10-7.

The game became scrappy over the rest of the half, leading to no further points being scored as a penalty from Nohamba fell short and one from Lloyd struck the uprights and bounced out, allowing Scarlets to take their lead into the halftime break.

The second half started with the hosts extending their lead to six points in the 47th minute through a second Lloyd penalty.

Hit back

The Lions hit straight back four minutes later as they took play into the Scarlets 22m, with the forwards keeping the ball amongst themselves until hooker PJ Botha crashed over to score, Nohamba adding the extras for a one point lead.

Scarlets however quickly retook the lead in the 54th minute as a long range penalty from Lloyd flew through the uprights to move them 16-14 ahead.

Scarlets then moved out of range with good maul try to hooker Ryan Elias in the 68th minute, with Lloyd’s extras giving them a 23-14 lead.

A 74th minute penalty to Nohamba brought the Lions back within seven and it proved crucial as they went over for the late winning score.


Scarlets: Tries – Tom Rogers, Ryan Elias; Conversions – Ioan Lloyd (2); Penalties – Lloyd (3)

Lions: Tries – Marius Louw, PJ Botha, Henco van Wyk; Conversions – Sanele Nohamba (3); Penalty – Nohamba