Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 30 October 2014

Davies 'delighted' with road win

Nigel Davies

Scarlets head coach Nigel Davies hailed his injury-hit side after they claimed a gritty 16-13 Heineken Cup win in Castres to book their place in the quarter-finals of the Amlin Challenge Cup.

With Northampton losing in Milton Keynes to Munster, the win sees the Scarlets finish runners-up in Pool 1 and moves them into the knockout stages of the second tier tournament for the second time in three years.

"It is a fantastic result for us," said Davies. "We had over 20 players at home and the boys came over here and produced a great performance against a side who were third in the Top 14 and pretty full on. We are delighted, it puts us in a play-off tie which is where we want to be, but there is also a sense of 'what if'."

He added: "We were so close to doing something special this year in the Heineken, but at least now we have a chance to do it in the Amlin."

The West Walians were without a host of regulars, including skipper Matthew Rees, because of injury, but claimed a rousing victory thanks to a remarkable 90-metre interception try from flanker Aaron Shingler and a penalty two minutes from time from the boot of veteran fly-half Stephen Jones.

Davies added: "We did miss a few opportunities again, which has probably been the story of the Heineken Cup for us and the difference between us not qualifying.

"But there is a huge amount of endeavour and quality coming through and to come here and beat Castres will do us a fantastic amount of good."

Davies hailed the performance of Shingler, saying: "Aaron was superb throughout, for a back-row forward to run the length of the field for a try like that is something special."

The only negative for the Scarlets was a knee injury to Wales fly-half Rhys Priestland, who limped off in the second half. Priestland had been favourite to wear the number 10 jersey for the start of Wales' Six Nations campaign

"We will have to wait and see," was Davies's response when asked about the extent of the injury. "Hopefully it is not too serious."

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