10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
The 20-year-old showed coolness beyond his years as he crowned his first RaboDirect PRO12 by booting six penalties from varying distances and converting Joe Snyman's first try for the Welsh region.
Kyle Tonetti made his first start for Connacht this season following a lengthy battle with a hamstring injury, and Eric Elwood's men signalled their intent within the first minute.
Fetu'u Vainikolo led a break along the wing that caught out a sleepy Scarlets defence. He was hauled down short of the try-line, but Dan Parks' well-weighted kick played in Danie Poolman for an unconverted try in the corner that left the home crowd stunned.
The match continued at a fast pace, Scarlets centre Adam Warren making good ground and a kickable penalty was sent over by Williams for his first points of the night.
Parks watched a 45-metre penalty attempt come back off the right hand post, and Connacht were foiled by a crooked lineout as they tried to add to their lead..
After soaking up a spell of pressure the Scarlets earned themselves a penalty which Williams kicked on 20 minutes to give the region a 6-5 lead.
But from Connacht's next attack, Parks slotted over a deftly-taken drop goal to move the westerners back in front.
The lead changed hands for a third time with Williams landing his third penalty following a Connacht ruck offence, just before Parks missed a difficult penalty shot.
But Parks' opposite number Williams converted one of two injury-time penalty attempts to give the Scarlets a 12-8 half-time buffer, with the likes of George Earle and Josh Turnbull impressing up front.
The Scarlets eventually put some daylight between themselves and Connacht by scoring 10 unanswered points. It was nip and tuck for a time with both sides trying their luck with kick chases.
Both defences were well organised, with John Muldoon making a welcome return to Connacht ranks in the second period. Eoin McKeon made way in the back row.
Then came that crucial spell during which Elwood's charges leaking a converted try and a penalty. Second row Snyman crashed over for a try on the hour converted by Williams.
The youngster then landed his fifth penalty, from just inside the 10-metre line, as Simon Easterby's side extended the margin to 22-8.
Regular captain Gavin Duffy also returned from injury as he came on for Tonetti with Poolman moving to the centre. Ethienne Reynecke and Ronan Loughney were sent on in the front row.
Despite some promising phases of play and good ball retention, Connacht could not stem the tide and a sixth and final penalty from Williams effectively sealed the result for the Welshmen.
To their credit, Connacht bounced back with a second and final try when replacement lock Michael Swift finished off a break.
The conversion was added by Miah Nikora but the losing bonus point remained frustratingly out of reach, with the concession of those penalties the main reason for Connacht leaving empty handed.
|Scarlets Score Card|
|Connacht Rugby Score Card|