Saturday 10 December 2016

Steven Shingler's late show with the boot lifts Scarlets above Munster

Published 23/10/2015 | 21:46

Former London Irish fly-half Steven Shingler won the game for Scarlets
Former London Irish fly-half Steven Shingler won the game for Scarlets

Steven Shingler kicked a dramatic stoppage time penalty from close to halfway as Scarlets won the battle of the Guinness PRO12's top two 25-22 at Parc y Scarlets.

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The victory sent unbeaten Scarlets back to the top of the table and in the process ended Munster's own unbeaten record.

In a close encounter Scarlets had trailed 22-19 going into the final seven minutes but fly-half Shingler, who had missed a couple of shots at goal, found the target twice when it mattered.

Shingler kicked 15 points, while the Scarlets scored two tries through wing DTH van der Merwe and replacement Tom Williams. Munster's try was scored by full-back Andrew Conway, with Ian Keatley supplying 17 points with the boot.

Scarlets selected four of Wales' World Cup squad players - Ken Owens, Samson Lee, Jake Ball and Gareth Davies, who was named on the replacements' bench.

Munster, who made eight changes from the win against Glasgow, did not include any of their World Cup players.

But despite that Munster fully deserved their 13-6 half-time lead making the most of an error-strewn display by Scarlets in persistent drizzle.

Early Munster pressure got them on the scoreboard first with a Keatley penalty on six minutes.

Twice Scarlets, who had a nightmare in the line-out, found themselves deep inside the opposition 22 only to fluff both efforts. First they gave away a penalty in the shadow of the Munster posts and then, after a Van der Merwe break, Shingler knocked on just short of the line.

On 26 minutes Munster scored a try when full-back Conway pounced on a Scarlets handling error, kicking the ball up field three times before winning the race to the touchdown.

Shingler and Keatley swapped penalties before the former kept the Scarlets in touch with his second penalty in the final minute of the first half.

Scarlets made a dramatic start to the second half after Van der Merwe got over in the left corner, but Shingler missed the conversion and the chance to level the scores.

But seven minutes later Scarlets erred offside, which allowed Keatley to convert his third penalty.

However, replacement Tom Williams scored in the right corner to level the scores at 16-16 before he was sin-binned for a high tackle.

While he was off Scarlets managed to keep the scores level. Keatley dropped a goal, a score that was cancelled out by Shingler's third penalty.

But, having missed two long range kicks, Keatley split the posts with a 50-metre effort to put his side in front with seven minutes remaining.

That was just enough time for Shingler to kick over two more penalties on 78 and 83 minutes to earn Scarlets a famous win as Munster were forced to make do with a losing bonus point.

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