Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Davies hails returning Wales stars

Nigel Davies

Scarlets coach Nigel Davies was more than satisfied with his side's performance in their 31-23 Heineken Cup victory over Castres at Parc y Scarlets.

Second-half tries from Sean Lamont, Ben Morgan and Jonathan Davies saw the Scarlets celebrate their 100th European encounter with a win, as Stephen Jones also added 13 points with the boot. But it was the way the Welsh region dealt impressively with a big French pack which most pleased the Scarlets coach.

"Winning your home games is vital and that was an important win for us," he said. "I thought we probably won the game because of our skills in the contact area."

Davies added: "We bullied that area against a big pack and we looked to play rugby. Unfortunately we have to work on our platform to give us control in games.

"They came strong in the scrums but it didn't become such an issue. But we have got to deal with that and the boys are working hard in that area.

"We have come up against a very good side in Castres are they are not third place in the French league for nothing.

"They have a strong pack of forwards but we didn't go into our shell and kept playing. We knew that any turnovers or knock-ons - we wanted to play."

Coach Davies was impressed with his returning World Cup players - especially Jonathan Davies, Scott Williams and George North.

"I was delighted with a lot of good individual performances," he added. "I was delighted with all the [World Cup] players. I thought the two centres (Davies and Williams) worked particularly well together. They were pretty aggressive in the contact area.

"And everything has been said about George North - every time he gets the ball there is an air of excitement."