THE Scarlets got swift revenge to pop the Dragons’ optimism bubble with a 38-19 win at Rodney Parade.

Dean Ryan’s men upset the odds in the United Rugby Championship clash in Llanelli but eight days later suffered disappointment in their bid for a double.

Despite the 19-point defeat, it was another game in the ‘ones that got away’ folder and a loss that means their winless streak at Rodney Parade will stretch beyond 12 months.

The Dragons paid the price for the lack of a killer instinct with too many pointless trips to the 22 in the first half to allow the Scarlets to lead 17-7 at the break.

Influential lock Sam Lousi, Dragons-bound Angus O’Brien and Wales hooker Ryan Elias went over before Jack Dixon gave the hosts hope by crashing over.

The Dragons’ dominance was rewarded when full-back Jordan Williams and centre Adam Warren, two former Scarlets, went over to make it 19 unanswered points and earn the lead.

Wales prop Rob Evans barged over for the west Walians’ bonus and they sealed the win with five to go through wing Corey Baldwin before O’Brien got his second.

The Dragons gave everything with an uncompromising display from flanker Ben Fry and a lively showing by wing Rio Dyer, his best performance of the season.

South Wales Argus: DENIED: Rio Dyer is tap-tackled by Angus O'BrienDENIED: Rio Dyer is tap-tackled by Angus O'Brien

However, they failed to show a cutting edge and fell short in their bid for a first derby double since turning the Ospreys twice in 2010/11 and a first double over the Scarlets since 2007/8.

The Dragons, who lost Wales lock Will Rowlands to a shoulder injury, don’t have long to lick their wounds with a golden chance for a third win of a tough campaign at the Zebre followed by the Ospreys, Cardiff and Lions.

The Dragons should have hit the front in the eighth minute after earning an opportunity with a scrum penalty followed by a lineout penalty.

They went through 11 phases in the Scarlets 22 before Ben Fry burst through at a ruck to provide Gonzalo Bertranou with a sitter, only for the Argentina scrum-half to drop the ball with the line at his mercy.

The Dragons should have been in front but they were 12-0 down with 16 minutes gone after a quickfire double with Lousi, who was badly missed in Llanelli after a late knee injury, scoring one and making another.

First the Tongan lock produced a one-handed finish after a dummy in the left corner when a lineout drive had earned penalty advantage.

Then he provided the final pass with a deft touch to put O’Brien clear on halfway with the former Dragon who will be a Dragon again next season showing a nice turn of speed to race over for a try that Rhys Patchell converted from out wide.

The hosts were given a route back into the game when Steff Evans, who was yellow-carded for killing the ball in Llanelli, was sent to the sin bin for a deliberate knock-on after 21 minutes.

However, the 14 men instead stretched their lead just seconds after the Dragons were hit by the loss of talisman Will Rowlands, with the Wales lock having ice applied to his left shoulder.

The Scarlets promptly drove over from a lineout with hooker Ryan Elias the man to dot down for a 17-0 lead.

South Wales Argus: INFLUENTIAL: Sam Louis was man of the matchINFLUENTIAL: Sam Louis was man of the match

The Dragons desperately needed the next score and were agonisinly close to a rapid response when Sam Davies put Rio Dyer in space and the winger cut through only to be denied by a superb last-gasp tap tackle by O’Brien.

However, pressure in the 22 was finally rewarded with points when they opted for a scrum from a penalty.

Aaron Wainwright carried hard and then Jack Dixon sniped over from the ruck next to the posts to make Sam Davies’ conversion a simple one.

They had the chance to further chip away at the lead with the clock in the red only for the familiar theme of a pointless trip to the 22.

The Dragons picked up where they left off in the second half and burst into the 22 through Dyer on the charge from a scrum.

The Scarlets were pinged for offside by their posts and the hosts opted for the scrum, a brave call that was rewarded when the big boys hammered away to create a weak spot for Sam Davies to put over Jordan Williams with an inside ball.

The Dragons called for fresh legs with half an hour to go with Wales internationals Elliot Dee, Taine Basham and Rhodri Williams coming on along with tighthead Chris Coleman.

They could soon have been playing against 14 men after Steff Evans knocked on from a Dyer pass. After TMO review, Scottish referee Sam Grove-White stuck with his decision of scrum and not a penalty.

It was all-Dragons and they got their noses in front on the hour courtesy of a neat move from a scrum that tempted in the Scarlets midfield, leaving a hole for Warren to race over and make Sam Davies’ conversion a simple one for 19-17.

However, that sparked the Scarlets into life and they turned down three points in favour of going for their bonus try, a decision that paid off when Wales loosehead Rob Evans peeled off a driving lineout. Patchell’s conversion made it 24-19.

The Scarlets went for the kill through their driving lineout to earn penalty advantage before whipping the ball right for Baldwin to dive over. They repeated the trick at the death for O’Brien’s second.

Dragons: J Williams; Dyer, Warren, Dixon, Rosser; S Davies, Bertranou (R Williams 50); Seiuli (Reynolds 69), T Davies (Dee 50), Brown (Coleman 50), Carter, Rowlands (J Davies 28), Keddie (captain), Fry, Wainwright (Basham 50).
Scorers: tries – Dixon, J Williams, Warren; conversions – S Davies (2)

Scarlets: O'Brien; Baldwin, J Davies (captain), J Williams, S Evans; Patchell, G Davies; S Thomas, Elias, Sebastian, Lousi, Price, Macleod, Lezane, Kalamafoni.
Replacements: D Hughes, R Evans, John, M Jones, Shingler, Hardy, Morgan, Conbeer.
Scorers: tries – Lousi, O’Brien (2), Elias, R Evans, Baldwin; conversions – Patchell (4)

Referee: Sam Grove-White