The Lions were made to rue their spurned opportunities as they slumped to a heavy defeat by the Scarlets in Llanelli on Friday.
In stark contrast to their performance in their campaign opener last week, the Lions’ execution left much to be desired this time around as they only managed to score one try, while conceding four in a 36-13 loss to the Scarlets.
On top of Tom Rogers’ double, a try each from Rob Evans and Steff Evans was enough to help get Dwayne Peel’s side over the line while Sam Costelow also contributed 16 points with the boot.
Ruben Schoeman scored the Lions’ only try, with Jordan Hendrikse kicking eight points.
The Scarlets started strongly and after a short period of pressure on the Lions tryline, loosehead prop Evans powered over from short range, with Costelow converting.
Hendrikse put the Lions on the scoreboard with a monster penalty from 50 metres out before Scarlets hit back with their second try in the 19th minute.
After a few shunts with their driving lineout, the ball was put through the hands, with some neat handling from Scott Williams, Costelow, Steff Evans and Johnny McNicholl putting Rogers over at the far right-hand corner.
Costelow improved their lead with a tremendous touchline conversion, but the Scarlets scrum was under pressure which allowed Hendrikse to pull three points back for the Lions.
Costelow hit another penalty from 35m out, meaning the Scarlets led 20-6 at the interval.
The visitors applied a lot of pressure on the Scarlets with a driving lineout which looked to be creeping over the line but the hosts held firm.
The Lions continued to lay siege to the Welsh side’s tryline with the west Walians struggling to contain their powerful carriers and, at last, Schoeman touched down from short range, with Hendrikse adding the extras to make it a one-score game again.
Costelow immediately pushed the Scarlets further ahead with a penalty from 45m and the home side burst into life with another tremendous break from Rogers slicing the Lions open, with his offload sending Dan Blacker racing towards the line.
But the scrumhalf was tackled close to the line before a high shot from Rabz Maxwane stopped him in his tracks. Maxwane was punished with a yellow card which allowed Costelow to kick another three points.
The hosts had wrestled back the momentum and made the most of their numerical advantage with a try from inside their own 22.
Scott Williams burst clear before offloading to Ioan Nicholas, who sent Jonathan Davies powering forward. He drew in EW Viljoen to put Rogers over for his second try.
And the Scarlets claimed the bonus-point try at the death as deceptive winger Evans sliced through the Lions defence to score a try from 50m out.