SCARLETS suffered only their second league defeat of the season against Toyota Cheetahs in South Africa.

The Pro14 champions, missing a team-full of players through international duty and injuries, took an early lead, but it went the home sides way who scored 2 tries to the visitors 1.

Fly-half Dan Jones opened the scoring with a penalty, only for his opposite number Fred Zeilinga to reply with two of his own.

An interception on the half-way line resulted in the opening try for Cheetah’s centre William Small-Smith, however Scarlet James Davies, who had returned from injury, responded with a try.

In the second half, it wasn’t until the 60th minute for points with winger Craig Barry cutting through poor Scarlets defence to add to their lead.

Teenager Ioan Nicholas put the gas on to bring the visitors back into the game with a fine individual score. But a second try for Barry in the 70th minute sealed the victory for the home side despite a late attempt by the Welsh region.

Final score: Cheetahs 28 – 21 Scarlets

Up next for the Scarlets, they return back to Wales as they welcome Benetton Treviso to Parc Y Scarlets next Saturday (9 Dec).

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