New Zealander Peter Borlase made his debut for the westerners at tighthead prop, joining Ronan Loughney, who was making his 100th appearance for the province, in the front row.
Academy back rower Dave Heffernan also made the step up from the Connacht 'A' side, combining with Ray Ofisa and George Naoupu in a combative back row unit.
The Scarlets included Wales squad members Aaron Shingler, Liam Williams, Rhodri Jones, Stephen Jones and Lou Reed in their starting line-up, but struggled to get a decent foothold in Connacht territory after some early handling errors.
Despite having the better of the opening stages with magnificent breaks from Connacht captain Gavin Duffy and Tiernan O'Halloran, it was the hosts who opened the scoring in the 17th minute.
The first time the Scarlets put some phases together they won a penalty but instead of going for the posts Stephen Jones kicked for territory in the pursuit of more points.
And from another penalty five metres out, Scarlets chose a scrum, won a free kick and captain Gareth Maule put Andy Fenby over in the left corner. Jones added the extras to leave the home side 7-0 ahead.
However, hands in a ruck in their own 22 saw the Scarlets' lead reduced with a 24th minute penalty for Connacht out-half Miah Nikora who started in place of the injured Niall O'Connor.
It took the Scarlets time to make another big attack count but after 37 minutes prop Rhodri Jones crashed through a ruck to score from close range after some impressive build-up work to help give the Welshmen a 14-3 interval advantage.
The Scarlets scrum showed its dominance by earning Jones a penalty after 46 minutes which he kicked to extend the home lead to 14 points.
The next 10 minutes proved critical to the game as Connacht were penalized four times in quick succession, including an extra 10 metres when Duffy sought clarification for one of the decisions from referee Marius Mitrea.
Connacht head coach Eric Elwood brought on Denis Buckley and the in-form John Muldoon soon after, but Muldoon was swiftly sin-binned and the Scarlets took advantage with hooker Emyr Phillips squeezing over by the posts.
From 24-3 up it took the Scarlets just another six minutes to seal the bonus point try when they turned over ball and number 8 Kieran Murphy sprinted over.
With Peter Edwards in the sin-bin, Connacht went over for a try through replacement hooker Ethienne Reynecke - his second score in five league games - but it was too little, too late for Elwood's side.
There was a final flourish from the Welsh region when prop Phil John grabbed the fifth try in injury-time, with Jones again successful from the conversion as the Wales ace finished with a 100% record with the boot.
The two-week break in league action will give the Connacht squad time to recuperate and recover before their next outing against Munster on Saturday, March 24.
Tickets for the derby clash, traditionally Connacht's biggest interprovincial match of the season, are selling fast and supporters are urged to purchase their tickets early to avoid disappointment as the game seems certain to be a sell-out.
Tickets can be bought online from www.ticketmaster.ie or from the Connacht Branch offices on College Road in Galway.
|Scarlets Score Card|
|Connacht Rugby Score Card|