Monday, March 27, 2023
Calm before the storm at Parc Y Scarlets

Calm before the storm at Parc Y Scarlets

30th March 2007. It has been almost 11 years since the Scarlets last saw the knock-outs in European rugby.

The then defending champions Munster travelled to a sold-out Stradey Park to face an in-from Scarlets side who had won all six of their pool matches.

Running out 24-15 winners whist knocking out the Irishmen in impressive fashion, the Welsh region then headed to the Walkers Stadium to face English giants Leicester Tigers in the semi-finals.

Eventually losing the match 33-17, the Scarlets have never been able to progress from the pool stages since. Sometimes coming close, but never over the line.

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Skip over a decade later, and the quarter finals are just one win away for the reigning Pro12 champions, although it didn’t seem possible after the opening two rounds. A gutsy away performance against Toulon losing out by the slimmest of margins followed by defeat at the hands of Bath at Parc Y Scarlets.

However a last gasp try for Paul Asquith kept the small hope alive with a bonus point victory against Benetton, followed up by a comprehensive victory in Italy the following weekend.

Scarlet takeover at Bath

All eyes turned onto the must win clash at the Recreation Ground, where there was a sense in the air that it would be a Scarlet night.

Backed by 1500 vocal travelling supporters, Wayne Pivac’s side produced one of the greatest wins in Welsh regional rugby history, running Bath ragged 35-17, claiming maximum points in the process.

Then comes Saturday. Toulon travel to Llanelli in the final round of the group, the winner takes all with just 1 point separating the two sides.

The French will be without their captain Mathieu Bastareaud, following his three-week ban for making a homophobic remark whilst playing against Benetton last weekend.

In one of the biggest games in Parc Y Scarlets’ 10 year history, around 13,000 tickets are said to have been sold with an expected full capacity for Saturday, kick-off is at 5:30pm.

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