Leinster opened their Magners League campaign with a disappointing 18-16 defeat against the Scarlets in Parc y Scarlets on Saturday evening in a game which they led for large periods of the game…
Speaking after the game Leinster Coach Michael Cheika said: “It was a game we should have won. We put ourselves in a position to win but we didn’t take our opportunities and it just shows that if you take your foot off the pedal you’ll get beaten.
“We did well for 60-70% of the game but we let our guard down and we understand how hard it is to win down here because they’re a good team. Our discipline let us down and we know that we need an improvement for next week.”
Sean Lamont got the hosts off to an excellent start with a sixth minute try, which Rhys Preistland converted, to push the hosts into a 7-0 lead.
A 12th minute penalty from Jonathan Sexton after an offside infringement at a ruck reduced the deficit to four points and after a sustained spell of pressure Girvan Dempsey was on hand to take a superb looping pass from debutant Shaun Berne to crash over in the corner seven minutes later.
Sexton added the difficult conversion and a penalty on 22 minutes to give the visitors a 13-7 lead, before he traded another penalty with Richie Pugh to give Leinster a 16-10 half-time lead.
In the 53rd minute Shane Jennings had a try disallowed and the Scarlets regrouped with Phil John crashing over. Then in the 70th minute Priestland stepped up to slot home a penalty to give the hosts a scarcely deserved lead which they held on to.
SCARLETS SCORERS: S. Lamont / P. John (1 try each), R. Priestland (1 penalty, 1 conversion), R. Pugh (1 penalty)
LEINSTER SCORERS: G. Dempsey (1 try), J. Sexton (3 penalties, 1 conversion)
SCARLETS: 15: Daniel Evans, 14: Sean Lamont, 13: Rob Higgitt, 12: Jonathan Davies, 11: Mark Jones CAPTAIN, 10: Rhys Priestland, 9: Martin Roberts; 1: Iestyn Thomas, 2: Ken Owens, 3: Rhys Thomas, 4: Lou Reed, 5: Dominic Day, 6: Simon Easterby, 7: Richie Pugh, 8: David Lyons
REPLACEMENTS: 16: Phil John, 17: Emyr Phillips, 18: Deacon Manu, 19: Vernon Cooper, 20: Dafydd Jones, 21: Lee Williams, 22: Dan Newton
15: Girvan Dempsey (Simon Keogh, 69)
14: Shane Horgan
13: Fergus McFadden (Niall Morris, 74)
12: Shaun Berne
11: Isa Nacewa
10: Jonathan Sexton
9: Chris Keane
1: Cian Healy
2: John Fogarty
3: Stan Wright
4: Leo Cullen CAPTAIN
5: Malcolm O’Kelly (Devin Toner, 66)
6: Kevin McLaughlin (Mike Ross, 41-50)
7: Shane Jennings VICE CAPTAIN
8: Stephen Keogh (Sean O’Brien, 42)
REPLACEMENTS NOT USED: Jason Harris-Wright, Paul O’Donohoe
REFEREE: Neil Paterson (SRU), ASSISTANT REFEREES: Jon Mason (WRU), Colin Kirkhouse (WRU), TMO: Tony Rowlands (WRU)