Scarlets hammer under-strength Leinster
September 1, 2012
George North grabbed two tries as the Scarlets kicked off their campaign with victory over Leinster © Getty Images
Wingers George North and Andy Fenby both scored two tries as the Scarlets opened their RaboDirect Pro12 campaign with a convincing 45-20 bonus point win over a weakened Leinster at Parc y Scarlets.
There were also tries for man of the match Liam Williams, Scott Williams and Kieran Murphy to ensure the Welsh region registered their first win over Leinster for almost two years.
The Scarlets included new skipper Rob McCusker at No.8, while new South African signing George Earle and former Osprey Richard Kelly were paired in the second row. Flanker Shane Jennings captained a Leinster side stripped of 11 rested internationals and another seven players who were injured. It meant they had to include six players from the province's Academy on the bench.
The visitors did make the better start before being outclassed and were rewarded with a penalty goal for Ian Madigan after four minutes. But Scarlets, under new head coach Simon Easterby, roared into the contest with two converted tries inside 26 minutes.
The forwards went through a softening up process of Leinster's defence before Wales centre Scott Williams went over by the posts for the first. And Liam Williams, showing some good form in front of Wales attack coach Rob Howley, squeezed in between two defenders to grab the second after latching on to a long pass from scrum-half Tavis Knoyle.
But three minutes before half-time Josh Turnbull was penalised at a ruck in front of his posts and Madigan was able to slot his second penalty to cut Scarlets' lead to 14-6 at the interval.
It took Scarlets just two minutes after the interval to score the first of five second half tries - a move started and finished off by North as Scarlets extended their lead to 19-6. Six minutes later the Scarlets registered a bonus point and in some style with a try from a move which covered almost the length of the field.
Liam Williams started it with a run out of defence, Aaron Shingler carried on before Knoyle put over Fenby for the fourth try.
Leinster got on the try trail with a converted score under the posts for Devin Toner, but two minutes later that was cancelled out with a fifth Scarlets try for replacement number eight Murphy.
In the final minutes Scarlets put some gloss on the scoreline with North and Fenby both going over for their second tries before Madigan scored Leinster's second try in injury time. With Rhys Priestland (2) and Aled Thomas converting three of the Scarlets tries the home side ran out 45-20 winners.
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