By David Williams

Dwayne Peel was able to enjoy one of the best victories during his time as head coach at the Scarlets as his side picked up a 37-28 bonus-point win over the Bulls on Friday.

Despite having five players away on Wales duty and a number of others ruled out through injury, the Parc y Scarlets faithful saw their side notch a first win over the Bulls in the URC and pick up a fourth try late in the game to take the extra point.

It was their fifth win in a row this year in all competitions and moved them ahead of the Dragons in the table.

The Scarlets have now won seven of their last eight games as their form has shown dramatic improvement.

“It was a tale of two halves,” said Peel. “I thought in the first half we were particularly good, we started really sprightly and got over the line. And then second half, I felt like they came after us physically in those tight areas, which we knew they would.

“I did feel like we were a bit naive in that second half, we didn’t respect territory enough. But I am really pleased to come back at the end, credit to the forwards, there were a couple of times when they ignored going for three points, and we held them out, it was a huge defensive set.

“I am delighted with the win because the Bulls are a top-end team, they came here fully-loaded, so it’s a big, big win for us, a big win for this season and a huge win in general.

“I spoke in the changing room about why I was pleased, not just with the win, but our ability to back up performances and results.

“For us that is the growth, to see us defending like a team at the end and scrapping for each other, that is what a good team is. We are seeing a team who want to fight and scrap for every point and every tackle.”

A superb opening saw the home side race into a 27-7 lead at one stage before a superb rally from the South African side saw them claw back to within a score

Bulls had beaten Scarlets 57-12 on home soil earlier in the season but found themselves on the back foot as Dan Davis, Kemsley Mathias and Gareth Davies all scored first half tries.

Sam Costelow converted all of them and went on to add three penalties for a 15 point contribution on the night.

Stravino Jacobs, Zak Burger, Cyle Brink and Simphiwe Matanzima scored tries for the Bulls, with Chris Smith converting all four to at least allow them to leave with a try bonus-points. Even so, they fell to fourth after Ulster beat reigning champions the Stormers at home.

Leading 30-28 in the closing stages, Scarlets closed out the game with their fourth try from Johnny McNicholl to make it a full house of points on a great night in Llanelli.


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