Scarlets eye another English scalp

Wed, 09 Oct 2013 15:11
Large jonathan davies scarlets.jp Large jonathan davies scarlets

Scarlets are hoping to repeat 2011's success at Northampton when they kick off their European Cup campaign at Harlequins.

Jonathan Davies and Rob McCusker are hoping Scarlets can repeat 2011's stunning success at Northampton when they kick off their European Cup campaign at Harlequins.

The Scarlets start their latest European adventure at the Twickenham Stoop on Saturday, two years after they shocked the Saints at the same stage.

And while Simon Easterby's side are once again being looked at as underdogs to progress from a pool that also includes French giants Clermont Auvergne and Racing Metro, their joint club captains intend to draw on their experience in the East Midlands when they head to the English capital.

"That could definitely help us. We went up to Northampton and beat them when no one expected us to go to Franklin's Gardens on the opening weekend and win," said McCusker.

"We did that, set our stall out and grew in confidence. If we can put in a couple of good performances early, we can certainly be competing in the group.

"It's another tough group for us but we're going into it wholeheartedly. Nobody really expects us to do anything special so we're just going to give it our best.

"We learnt a lot from playing Clermont last season so to play them again is going to be good for us, it's a real chance to test ourselves. Harlequins are a real force in English rugby and in Europe and Racing have spent tonnes of money over the summer and recruited really well. There are a few familiar faces there that the boys are keen to get to grips with.

"We're playing one of the best teams in French rugby, one of the best teams in English rugby and another team who have the potential to be champions of Europe. As a fan, I wouldn't really want much more than that. I think we'll see sell outs at the Parc-y-Scarlets in the Heineken Cup and hopefully they'll be behind us all the way," he added.

Davies freely admits that they will have to be at their very best if they are to earn a quarterfinal spot for the first time since 2007 but he believes the fact that they will be flying under the radar could work in their favour.

Clermont reached last season's final, Racing have added a trio of Davies' British and Irish Lions teammates to their already star-studded squad and Quins were quarterfinalists last term and English Champions in 2012.

That leaves the Scarlets with plenty to do to make the knockout stages but Lions centre Davies expects to see progress.

"Hopefully we can draw on our experiences from games like that Northampton win and use it as positively as we can. People wrote us off completely in that game but we went up there and got a bonus point win," added Davies.

"The most important thing is to go up to Harlequins with the attitude of doing a job and concentrating on your own performance. We've done it before and I'm sure we can do it again this year.

"Consistency is one of the most important things, as is making sure you're accurate in how you use the ball. We don't want to be up and down, we want a steady upward curve. In training we're getting an understanding of what the coaches want to achieve and where we want to play. We're going in the right direction."

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
EUROPEAN CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
La Rochelle 6 4 0 2 20
Wasps 6 3 0 3 17
Ulster 6 4 0 2 17
Harlequins 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 6 5 0 1 22
Saracens 6 3 1 2 18
Ospreys 6 2 1 3 15
Northampton Saints 6 1 0 5 6
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 6 6 0 0 27
Exeter Chiefs 6 3 0 3 15
Montpellier 6 2 0 4 13
Glasgow Warriors 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Munster 6 4 1 1 21
Racing Metro 6 4 0 2 19
Castres 6 2 1 3 12
Leicester Tigers 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Scarlets 6 4 0 2 21
Toulon 6 4 0 2 19
Bath 6 4 0 2 18
Treviso 6 0 0 5 4