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Scarlets reach European Challenge Cup last 16 with victory over the Cheetahs

14 Jan 2023 2 minute read
Scarlets’ Steff Evans runs in to score. Photo David Davies PA Images

Scarlets booked a European Challenge Cup round-of-16 place after beating South African side the Cheetahs 20-17 in Llanelli.

The Pool B leaders posted a third successive win in this season’s competition, although they were given a thorough examination at Parc y Scarlets.

Cheetahs led by seven points midway through the third quarter before their opponents rallied.

Wings Johnny McNicholl and Steff Evans scored tries for the Welsh side, while full-back Leigh Halfpenny kicked two penalties and two conversions.

Hooker Louis van der Westhuizen and wing Daniel Kasende touched down for the Cheetahs, with fly-half Siya Masuku adding two conversions and a penalty.

The Dragons kept alive their hopes of reaching the knockout phase with an impressive 21-15 victory over French challengers Pau at Stade du Hameau.

Pau took an early lead through Daniel Ikpefan’s try that Thibault Debaaes converted, but Dragons quickly drew level through an Ashton Hewitt try, plus Will Reed’s conversion.

Reed also kicked two penalties and JJ Hanrahan one, while centre Max Clark scored a second Dragons try as Pau were restricted to a second-half Vincent Pinto touchdown and a late Alex Desperes penalty that clinched a losing bonus-point.

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