Pro14: Scarlets v Cardiff BluesScarlets (18) 30Tries: Parkes, Elias, J Evans, S Evans Con: Halfpenny, Patchell Pens: Halfpenny 2Cardiff Blues (3) 17Tries: Halaholo, Williams Cons: Shingler 2 Pens: Evans
Scarlets maintained their place at the top of Conference B in the Pro14 despite a second half fight back by Cardiff Blues.
The champions led by 15 points at half-time with tries by Hadleigh Parkes and Ryan Elias and Leigh Halfpenny’s boot.
Blues were within a point after Willis Halaholo and Lloyd Williams crossed.
But touchdowns by Jonathan Evans and Steff Evans saw Scarlets pull clear and secure a bonus point win to open a three point lead in the table.
Scarlets had to dig deep at the end of a week which saw head coach Wayne Pivac agree a new two year contract with the region.
The victory was also a boost after two defeats against Toulon and Bath in the European Champions Cup.
It looked as though it might be a routine win at half time.
Blues showed plenty of positive intent, spurning two kickable penalties to go for attacking lineouts in the opening 40 minutes, but on both occasions failed to take advantage.
They also survived Nick Williams’ 10 minutes in the sin bin without conceding a point.
Scarlets for their part were guilty of wasting possession while a man-up, but took full advantage when Parkes was presented with a gaping hole in the defensive line.
The New Zealander capped a week which saw him called up for Wales’ autumn Test squad by running over for the opening from 20 metres.
The home team also clinically took advantage of a harsh penalty awarded against Alex Cuthbert to drive Elias over from close range.
But it was the Blues who were clinical after the break, with Halaholo breaking through from 30 metres and Williams taking advantag of a Johnny Mcnicholl error to bring make it a one point game on the hour.
But Steff Evans’ clever kick saw Jonathan Evans claim a try and then the wing made sure of the win and the bonus point with a try of his own.
Scarlets: Leigh Halfpenny; Johnny Mcnicholl, Hadleigh Parkes, Scott Williams (capt), Steff Evans; Rhys Patchell, Gareth Davies; Wyn Jones, Ryan Elias, Werner Kruger, Jake Ball, Lewis Rawlins, Aaron Shingler, Will Boyde, Tadhg Beirne.
Ken Owens, Dylan Evans, Simon Gardiner, David Bulbring, Josh Macleod, Jonathan Evans, Paul Asquith, Jonathan Davies.
Cardiff Blues: Matthew Morgan; Alex Cuthbert, Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo, Blaine Scully; Jarrod Evans, Tomos Williams; Brad Thyer, Kristian Dacey (capt), Dillon Lewis, Seb Davies, James Down, Josh Navidi, Olly Robinson, Nick Williams.
Matthew Rees, Corey Domachowski, Keiron Assiratti, Macauley Cook, Josh Turnbull, Lloyd Williams, Steve Shingler, Rhun Williams.
Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Rhys Thomas (WRU), Jon Hardy (WRU)
TMO: Neil Hennessey (WRU)