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Davies upbeat despite defeat

Scarlets head coach Nigel Davies was keen to highlight the positives despite his side bowing out of Europe against Perpignan on Sunday.

The Welsh region had a sniff of reaching the Heineken Cup quarter-finals and needed to win at the Stade Aime Giral. But they came up short and were put to the sword by the fired-up Catalonians, who ran in five tries to record a 37-5 triumph and secure a home quarter-final.

Davies said: "It's a disappointing fashion to exit Europe, it was in our control but we didn't play well enough. We turned over too much ball and quality opposition like Perpignan will punish you. We knew coming here we would have to perform at the very top of our ability but we didn't perform on the day. But overall it was a positive campaign for us."

He added: We were fighting until the last game. We have come a long way in 12 months from being the bottom Welsh team in the Magners League to having a shout in Europe on the final weekend.

"We've been pleased with lots of things but we have the disappointment and realisation that we have to be at the very top of our game to compete with the top sides.

"We could've easily stopped playing after the poor first half but we kept fighting and had more possession and territory."

It is the third time the Scarlets have been humbled by a thumping loss this season, following the defeats by Leicester Tigers and the Ospreys, but each time they have bounced back with crucial league wins.

They lie second in the Magners League and Davies wants his side to continue pushing to secure a play-off place.

"We have everything to play for in the Magners and have shown we can be resilient and bounce back after defeat," he said.

"We now have a couple of games in the LV= Cup where we will bring in a new-look side and then we will go back into the Magners with a mix of players from today and the next two games. I'm assuming we will have quite a few players involved with Wales."

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