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Dwayne Peel Admits Scarlets Were Given A Lesson

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By Paul Jones

Dwayne Peel admitted the Scarlets got what they deserved from their United Rugby Championship opener in South Africa – precisely nothing.

The Scarlets coach watched his team get trampled over by the Bulls as they lost 63-21 in South Africa to complete a conspicuous weekend whitewash of four defeats for the Welsh regions.

The Ospreys, Cardiff and the Dragons were all beaten in their first games on Saturday.

Taine Plumtree marked his Scarlets debut with a pair of tries but they were outclassed by Bulls at Loftus Versfeld.

“We had a lesson in execution,” said Peel.

“The Bulls were very clinical, especially in that first 25 minutes, they punished every error we made.

“We came back into it and I’m disappointed we didn’t get the bonus point for four tries, but at the end of the day we didn’t really deserve it.

“The reality is not many sides come here and win. Some good sides have been sent packing here.

“I thought we gifted the Bulls some soft tries early in the first and second half and there were a few execution things in attack we need to look at. We did get behind them on occasions, scored some nice tries, but we also wasted opportunities in their 22.

“We are obviously disappointed, Loftus is always a tough place to play, it was a scorching day as well which took its toll on us. We catch a plane down to Cape Town and it’s back to work. We review and get on with it.

“For us, it is not the end of the world, we need to lick our wounds, stay tight and move on. We are not going to dwell on it. You get a lot out of these trips and this young group will learn a lot from that experience. There are a lot of young men here who won’t be the first to experience that coming to Loftus.

“You have to remember, we were also without a number of players, the World Cup boys with Wales, Josh Macleod, Vaea Fifita, Ken Owens, Steff Evans, Dan Jones, who are big parts of this group, who will boost us.”

Flanker Plumtree arrived in Llanelli from the Blues with hopes of impressing Wales coach Warren Gatland and forcing his way into the national squad and caught the eye in Pretoria despite Scarlets being second best.

Cameron Hanekom and Stedman Gans both scored a brace of tries for the hosts as the Bulls ran in nine, with fly-half Johan Goosen converting them all for a personal haul of 18 points.

The Bulls were quickly out of the blocks as they crossed for two tries inside the first five minutes.

The South African side opened the scoring two minutes into the game when they kicked into touch from a penalty after the Scarlets were offside and, while the visitors defended the initial maul well, quick ball saw Ruan Nortje power over.

And it was the forwards again at the heart of the Bulls’ second try as they powered through a weak Scarlets defence before Johan Grobbelaar peeled off the back to feed number eight Hanekom to go over in the corner.

Hanekom got his second try of the game when he picked the ball up from the base of the scrum and powered his way over the Scarlets line.

The bonus point was secured with 24 minutes on the clock when the Bulls turned over possession deep in the Scarlets half and as the ball was recycled Elrigh Louw flipped it off to Grobbelaar to canter in under the posts.

The Scarlets got themselves on the board 10 minutes before the break when a tap-and-go penalty worked its way along the line for Johnny McNicholl to go over in the left corner and Ioan Lloyd converted from the touchline.

Plumtree then went over for the visitors a minute before the interval after Tom Rogers broke clear and Lloyd converted to make it 28-14 at half-time.

It took the Bulls just four minutes after the restart to go in for a fifth time as a chip over the top was latched onto by Harold Vorster and with the Scarlets defence stretched the ball went wide for David Kriel to go over in the corner.

As the Dragons defence tired, the Bulls showed their ruthless side as Gans ran in a quickfire double before Akker Van der Merwe and Wandisile Simelane also crossed.

Plumtree then added a late consolation try for Scarlets.

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