Much improved Scarlets fall just short against powerful Sharks

Ryan Elias makes a break on the way to scoring a try -Credit:Gruffydd Thomas/Huw Evans Agency
Ryan Elias makes a break on the way to scoring a try -Credit:Gruffydd Thomas/Huw Evans Agency

The Scarlets fell just short against a powerful Sharks outfit in Llanelli after a much improved performance.

It has been a horrible season for Dwayne Peel's side who have only won three games all campaign but there has been much more structure to their game over the past fortnight while their attack has been a lot better. But ultimately the west Walians don't possesses the adequate power up-front to beat the better sides in this competition and they were undone by a hat-trick of tries from Sharks wing Werner Kok, along with a score from Springboks prop Vincent Koch while Siya Masuku contributed 12 points frim the kicking tee.

The hosts crossed for three tries of their own courtesy of Ryan Elias, Kemsley Mathias and Ioan Nicholas while Sam Costelow kicked 12 points. Costelow nudged the Scarlets into an early lead with three points from the kicking tee after a bright start for the hosts but the Sharks hit straight back. A poor exit by the Scarlets gave the Sharks an attacking lineout in the home and some slick handling sent Kok over for his first try.

Nicholas sparked the Scarlets back into life with a clean break upfield before releasing Tomi Lewis who raced down the touchline. After a few phases a tip on pass from Johnny Williams sent Sam Lousi through a gap with the Tonga international offloading to Ryan Elias who slid over for a try.

Costelow added the extras but the Sharks' greater power and size began to take its toll on the Scarlets who were beginning to cough up penalties at the scrum. After a menacing driving lineout and some powerful carries the Sharks forced their way back into the lead when Vincent Koch powered his way over from short range.

After Masuku extended the Sharks' lead with a penalty the game began to break up and as a result the Scarlets were beginning to make some headway. Scarlets full-back Nicholas broke clear again before putting powerful centre Williams through a gap.

After a couple of phases a powerful carry from Kemsley Mathias resulted in the Scarlets' second try which Costelow converted to level the scores. But the Sharks hit straight back when a well-timed cross kick from Masuku found Kok who touched down for his second try.

The Sharks continued to grind down the Scarlets and it was a case of déjà vu when another cross kick from Masuku got taken by Kok who claimed his hat-trick. But the game wasn't over yet and the Scarlets came straight back at their visitors when Taine Plumtree claimed a loose ball to send Williams clear who offloaded to Kieran Hardy.

The Wales international was brought down just short of the line but after a couple of phases the ball was spun wide for Nicholas to score at the corner. Costelow slammed over a touchline conversion to set up a grandstand finish