FLANKER Jac Morgan marked his return from a knee injury with a man-of-the-match display as Scarlets returned to winning ways with a six-try 41-17 triumph over Benetton at Parc y Scarlets.

The 21-year-old from Brynamman, a former Amman United youth player, crossed for two tries in a dominant first-half performance, as Scarlets made a welcome return to winning ways.

Scarlets had the try bonus point in the bag before half-time with half-backs Sam Costelow and Dane Blacker also crossing the whitewash, but Benetton did show some fight after the break.

Late tries by Sione Kalamafoni and replacement Paul Asquith, however, completed the Italian Job, with this welcome Pro 14 win keeping European Champions Cup qualification hopes alive.

“You want the boys to be tested, and come off with a reward, and those young boys are showing they can really play at this level, which is great to see,” said head coach Glenn Delaney.

“It is not a bad back row when you can field Jac (Morgan) with Sione (Kalamafoni) and Cass (Uzair Cassiem, and then you have Ed (Kennedy) also coming on and putting in a shift.”

The Italian side, like the Scarlets, had lost almost an entire team to their national Six Nations squad, but were first on the board thanks to a penalty from international fly-half Tommaso Allan.

The Scarlets’ response was swift as strong work from a close-range line-out took play up to the Benetton line and that man Morgan found his way to the line for his first try of the match.

In control of possession and territory, Scarlets turned the screw and it showed as Benetton went down to 13 men with the sin-binning of hooker Tomas Baravelle and prop Tiziano Pasquali.

Fly-half Costelow found a gap to dummy his way through the stretched Benetton defence, but he injured an ankle in the process, and it was left to Steff Evans to slot over the conversion.

Again the home side hit back swiftly when a counter attack found Morgan on the left wing, and the openside brushed off four Benetton defenders to power through for a stunning solo score.

An intelligent kick through from replacement Dan Jones then found acres of space, full-back Johnny McNicholl hacked on, and it was scrum-half Blacker who pounced for the bonus-point try.

Trailing 26-3 at the interval, Benetton showed plenty of spirit early in the second half, with a length-of-the-field try chalked off, before crossing for a legitimate score through wing Leonardo Sarto.

A Jones penalty extended the lead, but the hosts failed to make the pressure count until centre Tyler Morgan was brought down before the whitewash, and Kalamafoni was there to crash over.

Benetton's Cornelius Els scored from a driving maul, but Scarlets had the final say as Paul Asquith finished off a typical Johnny McNicholl break with a sharp side-step for try number six.

It was a welcome win for Glenn Delaney's side, who leapfrogged above Cardiff Blues into third place in the Pro 14 Conference B table - having fallen off the pace since the turn of the year.

SCARLETS: J McNicholl; R Conbeer, T Morgan, S Hughes (c), S Evans; S Costelow, D Blacker; P Price, R Elias, J Sebastian, J Ball, M Jones, U Cassiem, J Morgan, S Kalamafoni. Replacements: M Jones, S Thomas, P Scholtz, S Lousi, E Kennedy, W Homer, D Jones, P Asquith.

BENETTON: J Hayward; A Esposito, J Riera, L Morisi, L Sarto; T Allan, D Duvenage (c); T Gallo, T Baravalle, T Pasquali, I Herbst, E Snyman, G Pettinelli, M Zuliani, R Favretto. Replacements: C Els, N Quaglio, I Nemer, M Canali, A Sgarbi, D Ruggeri, C Braley, E Padovani.

Referee: Dan Jones (WRU). Assistant Referees: Ben Whitehouse (WRU) and Elgan Williams (WRU). TMO: Jon Mason (WRU).