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European Wrap: Scarlets run riot and Edinburgh edge a thriller

Charlie Talbot-Smith

13 Jan 2018

Scarlets produced one of their best displays of the season so far to down Bath at the Rec on Friday night and move closer to the knockout rounds of the European Champions Cup.

The reigning Guinness PRO14 champions turned on the style in the first half against the side that conquered them in the rain at Parc y Scarlets back in October.

Tadhg Beirne was the man of the match and it was his try, delightfully sidestepping Anthony Watson to cap another thrilling end to end move, that set them going in the first half.

Hadleigh Parkes and Paul Asquith both also crossed and when Scott Williams went over in the second half, beautifully fed by Rhys Patchell’s left-footed grubber, the bonus point was secured.

Now Wayne Pivac’s side know that they must beat RC Toulon in the final round of group games to have a chance of making the knockout rounds for the first time in ten years.

Elsewhere Edinburgh Rugby guaranteed a home European Challenge Cup quarter-final with their fifth win on the spin in this competition.

It came in dramatic fashion as Junior Rasolea’s late score and Blair Kinghorn’s conversion saw them down defending champions Stade Francais 34-33.

Sam Hidalgo-Clyne’s boot did the damage in the first half as they led 12-6 but despite Hamish Watson’s try, the French side let 26-19.

But Jaco van der Walt and Rasolea, either side of a Craig Burden score, turned the game back Edinburgh’s way for a thrilling win.

What they said:

Man of the match Tadhg Beirne said: “It was a pretty impressive performance, we threw some nice offloads today and it worked out for us.

“We came out with a big emphasis on defence and I think after that we can be proud of the way we came out and performed.

Scarlets skipper Ken Owens: “We were disappointed to lose the first two games but we picked up losing bonus points and were very professional home and away against Treviso and knew we had a semi and a final next week.

“It’s all about knockout rugby, we’ve done the first phase of that and we’ve got a huge game against Toulon at home next week now.”

Wayne Pivac said: “We’re very pleased obviously the first half we wanted to start with a bang and get those early points and scoring those tries with Barclay in the bin was a great part of the game for us.

“We felt in the game against Bath last time out, in atrocious conditions, we didn’t fire a shot we were hoping to good conditions, which we did, the ground was great.

“We wanted to move the ball and ask some questions early on and certainly the passes were sticking and the support lines were great.”