URC: Scarlets 21-25 Stormers – Loss of hosts means European top flight for Ospreys next year

Scarlets (16-21)
Tries:J Williams, Conbeer Cons: Costelow Pens:Costelow 3
Stormers (14) 26
Tries: Zas, Roos, Nel 2 Cons: Libbok 3

Scarlets narrowly missed Ospreys' Champions Cup qualification in their season-finale loss to Stormers at the United Rugby Championship (URC).

Centre Ruhan Niel scored twice, while Evan Roos (Leolin Zas) also scored for Stormers.

Scarlets scored tries by Johnny Williams and Ryan Conbeer. Sam Costelow added 11 more points.

Dwayne Peel's team was not able to win the 2021-22 title as top-ranked region in Wales.

Scarlets were unable to overcome Ospreys' valiant efforts and finished one point behind them in the URC table. They will now play European Challenge Cup rugby next year.

Scarlets knew that three league points were required to qualify for the Heineken Champions Cup next season after Ospreys' defeat to Bulls, 38-31.

This would have allowed Dwayne Pear's side to win the URC Welsh shield by finishing in the top region.

They came up short, as Ospreys was ninth in the final 16 team URC table with Scarlets just one place below.

Stormers' win allowed them to win South Africa shield. They were then able to play in the quarter-final at home, putting them in second place.

It extended its unbeaten streak to eight games and won a sweep against the four Welsh regions.

Lousi blow

Scarlets' challenge was made more difficult by the injury of Sam Lousi, Tonga's second rower, and Ryan Elias from Wales.

As he made his final appearance for the region, Liam Williams was named to the wing. Tom Rogers will be returning at full-back.

Scarlets started well, with Costelow scoring an early penalty and centre Williams scoring an excellent try.

Captain Jonathan Davies gathered a cleverly-crafted chip kick with the outside of Gareth Davies’ left boot and released Williams.

Zas, URC's top try scorer, responded with his 11th score for the season.

Wing Ryan Conbeer began a brilliant counter-attacking move that almost led to a spectacular attempt before an unwelcome knock on ended the move.

Before Scarlets' determined defence, the hosts were satisfied with a third Costelow penalty.

This only delayed the second score of the visitors as number eight Evan Roos, who was just before half-time, scored two points to bring Scarlets' lead down to two.

Shingler was injured in his ribs and had to be taken off the pitch by the home team. He was replaced by Tomas Lezana, an Argentina flanker.

Lezana's ability to carry balls was a boon for Scarlets, but Shingler's presence in line-out was a great loss.

Stormers had a great start to the second-half, as they took the lead.

South Africa's side took advantage of the poor Scarlets' start, with Nel also capitalising upon a home defensive mix up.

Costelow failed to make a penalty before Rhys Patchell replaced him. Patchell was called up for the summer tour of South Africa by Wales.

Patchell was not able to stay as long as he needed, and was eventually forced off due to a hamstring injury. This will be a problem for Wayne Pivac, Wales coach.

Dwayne Pear had to make Johnny Williams fly-half, with Joe Roberts taking over in midfield.

Deon Fourie, a Stormers flanker, was cited for high tackle on Scarlets replacement scrum half Kieran Hardy.

Scarlets didn't have a recognised kicker and so declined a penalty to attempt a corner try.

Initial results were positive as Conbeer was able to walk over and even the score. Liam Willliams' conversion to touchline was horrendously wide.

Johnny Williams was taken off the field for a head injury assessment in six minutes. Costelow was able to return to action.

Nel was the one to complete the scoring, with his second to break Scarlets hearts.

Scarlets: Tom Rogers; Liam Williams; Jonathan Davies (capt), Johnny Williams and Ryan Conbeer; Sam Costelow and Gareth Davies; Steff Tom, Shaun Evans, Javan Sebastien, Tom Price, Jac Price. Aaron Shingler, Josh Macleod. Sione Kalamafoni.

Replacements: Daf Hughes, Phil Price, WillGriff John, Morgan Jones, Tomas Lezana, Kieran Hardy, Rhys Patchell, Joe Roberts.

Stormers: Warrick Gelant; Seabelo Senatla, Ruhan Nel, Damian Willemse, Leolin Zas; Manie Libbok, Stefan Ungerer; Steven Kitshoff (capt), JJ Kotze, Frans Malherbe, Salmaan Moerat, Marvin Orie, Deon Fourie, Hacjivah Dayimani, Evan Roos.

Replacements: Andre-Hugo Venter, Brok Harris, Neethling Fouche, Ernst van Rhyn, Nama Xaba, Marcel Theunissen, Godlen Masimla, Cornel Smit.

Referee: Sam Grove-White, (SRU)

Assistant referees: Gareth Newman & Rhys Jones (WRU)

TMO: Wayne Davies (WRU).

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