The West Walians victory was forged by a sterling forward effort led by Tongan second row, and man of the match, Inoke Afeaki. However the Dragons were certainly in the game and indeed leading 16-13 with 30 minutes left, helped no doubt by some wayward goalkicking by Mike Hercus who missed four penalties and a conversion on the night.
The Scarlets ended up with three tries, the first of which came about when they decided to kick for touch at a kickable penalty inside the Dragons 22. Chris Wyatt won the lineout and the pack drove over from 15 metres encountering little in the way of defence. Under the pile of bodies was try scoring substitute Dafydd Jones a replacement on nine minutes earlier for Gavin Thomas, who had retired with a groin strain and a cut lip.
A beautiful try from Dafydd James after an hour took the Scarlets to 18-16. When Popham took lineout ball, Hercus made a break before passing to Mark Jones looking for work, he made a great break and gave an easy scoring pass to his skipper to stroll in under the sticks.
The final try was run in by new recruit Craig Dunlea from close range after excellent mauling from his Scarlet team mates, playing in dark blue on the night.
The Dragons, and their coach Paul Turner, still have much work to do, but their only try this evening was a lovely move finished off by Rhys Oakley running in from the 22, wrong footing full-back Garan Evans and beating Scarlets centre Dafydd James to the touchdown. That came after a half break from Ceri Sweeney with Gareth Cooper quickly recycling.
There was even time for a change of change of referee when chief whistle blower Neil Ballard, who himself had only taken charge when original appointment Nigel Whitehouse cried off just before kick off, pulled a hamstring in the 33rd minute and James Jones was elevated to take charge of his first Celtic League match.