Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Davies braced for Leicester

Scarlets coach Nigel Davies has called on his side to banish memories of their October hammering at Leicester when the Tigers visit Parc-y-Scarlets for Saturday's crucial Heineken Cup Pool Five clash which he has described as their "biggest game in years".

The west Wales region had travelled to Welford Road in high spirits for their round two clash last autumn after a wonderful display in their opening win over Perpignan. But they were ruthlessly brushed aside by the Aviva Premiership champions in a crushing 46-10 defeat, with Leicester's forward power proving too much for the Welsh side to handle.

"No shadow of doubt about it, this is the biggest game we have faced in the last three years," said Davies.

Scarlets have recovered well from that trouncing and their back-to-back bonus-point wins over Italian side Treviso have put them top of the pool. Leicester lie two points adrift in second after collecting a defeat and a draw from their meetings with Perpignan before Christmas.

Davies' side's preparations for this weekend's meeting appeared to be veering off course when they were humbled 60-17 by local rivals Ospreys in the Magners League two days after Christmas.

However, they have recovered well with wins over Newport Gwent Dragons and Edinburgh, and former Wales coach Davies wants his side to build on those successes and prove they are deserving of a first quarter-final appearance since 2007 by upsetting the two-time champions.

Davies continued: "What makes this match against Leicester Tigers so huge is the fact that we have not been in this sort of position in the Heineken Cup during the time I have been back here and now we have 15 points from three wins with two matches to play.

"Naturally we are extremely pleased to have earned those 15 points - it was what we had targeted at this stage, so at least we are on course - while always realising you have to win your home games in the Heineken Cup.

"We are delighted to be where we are at the top of the group but we have worked hard to put ourselves in this position and we deserved to be there.

"However, we appreciate that Leicester have an enormous amount of experience - on and off the pitch - and for them to come through those top end games, as they so regularly do, is huge as it certainly builds belief and confidence in a side. But we are at home, where we have a very good home record, and we all know we let ourselves down in the Round Two match at Welford Road."


From Belfast Telegraph