Wednesday 24 May 2017

Davies joy at Scarlets' power play

Second-half tries from Sean Lamont, Ben Morgan and Jonathan Davies saw 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 Nigel Davies.

"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. 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 and 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."

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.

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

Castres' tries came from Marc Andreu and skipper Chris Masoe with Romain Teulet kicking 13 points.

And the Scarlets coach felt going for a penalty goal at the end was important in stopping Castres getting a bonus point.

He said: "There was an argument to [go for the bonus point try] but denying them the losing bonus point was important to us."

And Castres skipper Chris Masoe rued his side not taking a losing bonus point. "It is crucial," he said. "We have got a 'death' pool with Northampton, Munster and Scarlets.

"All three teams can play some rugby. So it's crucial to get that bonus point but we couldn't manage it. Scarlets played some good rugby. They played it wide but I'm really proud of the boys. We put up a good fight but unfortunately we didn't come away with a point.

"We now have a big game against Munster next week in Toulouse. That is going to be a big battle up front."

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