Scarlets leave Scarlets with winning salute

Scarlets said goodbye to their famous Stradey Park home with a 27-0 victory over Bristol in the Anglo-Welsh Cup on Friday.


Playing their last match at the Llanelli stadium which has been their home for 129 years, the Welsh side saw Morgan Stoddart, Simon Easterby and Rob Higgitt all score tries, while Stephen Jones kicked 10 points.


Down the years Stradey witnessed some dramatic matches, including victories over Australia in 1984 and 1992.


But the most famous was Llanelli’s 9-3 success over the mighty All Blacks in 1972.


Scarlets will now move to the brand new, 15,000-capacity, all-seater Parc y Scarlets next month and coach Nigel Davies admitted it was difficult to put emotion to one side.


“To keep our focus with all the emotion that was going on with the final game has been tough,” said Davies after the Group D match.


“I’ve been involved in some high pressure situations before but nothing ever like this.


“The weight of expectation and the history of the place put a lot of pressure on us. Now I am able to sit back and reflect for the first time on the fact we are leaving this place.”


Welsh international fly-half Stephen Jones said: “It was a great occasion. There were a lot of pre-match nerves.


“We wanted to get a win to give this great stadium a send off. We had to concentrate on the rugby side of things and not let the emotion get to us.”


Meanwhile, in Group B Sale fell to a 24-21 home defeat to Bath while in Group A Wasps secured a 26-13 win away to Newcastle.


Paul Sackey, Tom Rees, Tom Voyce and Joe Simpson all scored tries to give the Premiership champions a bonus-point victory.


Newcastle also had England centre Jamie Noon stretchered off in the first half with his neck in a brace.


Sapa-AFP – Rugbyweek.com

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