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Scarlets vow not to be beaten by Thomond factor

WITH the current Arctic chill surrounding us, the Scarlets have been told not to freeze-up when they face the reigning Magners League champions Munster tomorrow at Musgrave Park.

The Welsh side, second from bottom, face the daunting trip for a game that Munster officials are confident will go ahead.

The prospect of the Scarlets defeating Munster at home, where the Irish have won their last 13 games and where no Welsh side has won since the Blues in 2007, is pretty remote. The Scarlets, though, did win their last game against the Dragons on New Year's Eve to end a four-match losing streak.

Scarlets supremo Nigel Davies is well aware that his side could be beaten before they even run out of their dressing room ... and is determined to try to make sure that does not happen.

"It is a huge challenge for us. Munster have a massive reputation and often that can beat you before you get on the park and we have got to be mindful of that," said Davies.

The Scarlets and Munster have enjoyed some rare old battles in the past but have more in common than most sides in the Magners League.

They have each been their country's power-base in Europe, although the Scarlets have subsequently lost their mantle in that respect.



admiration

Davies makes no secret of his admiration for what Munster have managed to achieve in Europe and the Magners League.

"I admire their spirit and attitude. The number of games they have won in the last couple of minutes is phenomenal and the intensity they show as individuals to the cause is terrific," said Davies. "That is what you are up against when you play Munster.

"The play a simple way, are exceptional at it and that is why teams find it difficult to play against them.

"The players are aware of the history of the Scarlets and we do think of ourselves as the true Welsh region in terms of Welsh speaking."

The Scarlets endured a tough December, losing twice to Leinster in the Heineken Cup, and don't have a great recent record against Irish sides, losing their last five encounters with Irish provinces. Davies admits that the standard of the Magners League has improved but also that his side hasn't helped itself over the course of the season so far.

"Magners League games are won or lost on a couple of points and our goal-kicking success rate is less than 60pc," said Davies.

"It is just not good enough, I am not putting pressure on anybody within the squad, but it is a factor, we cannot hide from it."

MUNSTER v SCARLETS

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