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Scarlets coach hails "satisfying" victory over Toulon

Head coach Wayne Pivac paid tribute to the tenacious qualities of his Scarlets side as they dug deep to claim the prized Champions Cup scalp of three-time winners Toulon at Parc y Scarlets.

A try by Wales centre Scott Williams and the boot of fly-half Rhys Patchell had put the home side in control early on, but Toulon upped the pressure in the second half and could have snatched it at the death, only for Wales international Leigh Halfpenny to miss a long-range penalty in the final minute.

"It was a very satisfying win, but very nerve-wracking in that second half," said Pivac after the nail-biting 22-21 Pool 3 victory.

"We did everything we wanted to do in the first half, we created scoring opportunities, scored one try and blew another when Gareth Davies couldn't hold onto the pass. We ran them around and I thought they (Toulon) were blowing a bit.

"We knew at half-time they would come very direct and they didn't let us down. To keep Toulon tryless is a credit to the work the boys have done during the week on their first-up tackles. That was very pleasing.

"The boys will enjoy this. We don't get opportunities to play a side like Toulon, with their experience and history, too often.

"I am just glad for them that they got something out of it. It would have been pretty cruel if we had lost it at the death."

Toulon first-team coach Mike Ford was left to rue a lacklustre start to the round four clash, but insisted his side can still make the knock-out stages with victories over Sale and Saracens in the new year.

"We have got to look at how we start in away games," he said.

"It needed a few things to be said at half-time. We were in control in the second half, but we were disappointed with the number of times we were in their red zone and didn't execute.

"I thought we were well prepared before the game, we had trained really well. The last 48 hours of the week is where the players get themselves right on the edge, when you play away from home you have to raise the intensity levels even more.

"We failed to do that and it is something we have to look at, but credit to the Scarlets, it was a real gritty performance from them.

"We are not out of this competition," added Ford.

"We have 10 points and we have two games left to play. It looks like we are going to have to go to Saracens and win."

On Halfpenny's miss, Ford added: "You feel for Leigh because he's won us many games. He's a world-class goal-kicker. He's gutted in the changing room."

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