The Runner Sports

James Davies Wins Man Of The Match In Legendary Scarlets Win

James Davies has a phenomenal match and Scarlets are the first team to win an away semi-final in the history of the Pro 12.

The Welsh provinces were all but written off going into the playoffs. The Irish provinces were the favorite to win the semi-finals and especially Leinster. Scarlets entered the match with the world on their shoulders. No team had ever won away in the semi-finals and no one believed that would change now. James Davies led his team onto the pitch with the chip on their shoulder necessary to get the job done.

Scarlets’ first half was all attack.

From the very beginning, Scarlets played with an attacking desperation. Scarlet were able to halt Leinster drives, and Steff Evans found his way to the in goal area for Scarlets first try of the day.

Leinster began to come back with a successful penalty by Isa Nacewa. Leinster then took the lead when Garry Ringrose was able to work through the tough Scarlets defense for a try and a 10-7 lead over Scarlets.

That lead did not last long as Aaron Shingler passed to James Davies, who then offloaded back to Shingler who got across for a try to regain the lead for Scarlets. Little time was wasted as Gareth Davies found the next opening through the Leinster defense to give the Scarlets’ amazing 21-10 lead.

Close to the end of the first half tragedy struck the Scarlets side. The first try scorer of the day, Steff Evans, lifted Garry Ringrose past horizontal and Ringrose landed on his head. Evans was sent off the field with a red card straight away. Scarlets would be left to play with 14 through the rest of the day.

Defense and survival marked the second half for the Scarlets.

With only 14 men on the pitch, the game plan changed desperately for Scarlets. Scarlets through most of the second half played amazingly defensively. The counter ruck allowed the Scarlets many turnovers throughout the second half. They forced Leinster to make errors and worked through a lot of clock doing so.

Leinster was finally able to make enough progress to allow Jack Conan to get across the line for a try to close the gap. Scarlets did not play a game of matching try for try, but of regaining just enough space to keep the lead. Liam Williams kept edging the lead further for Scarlets throughout the match until the very end.

The Scarlets match was truly a legendary moment in rugby.

The Scarlets have made many semi-finals, but have never won them. No team has ever won away in a Pro 12 semi-final. Leinster came into the match 12 points ahead at the end of the regular season. Scarlets were able to overcome all those odds and have an amazing win.

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David Bradham

Active duty Navy, have a true passion for Rugby.
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