Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel hailed the EPCR Challenge Cup for giving his side “a fresh start” after they had lost four games in a row in the United Rugby Championship.

Back-to-back wins on successive weekends – 39-7 at home to Aviron Bayonnais in Round 1 and 45-26 against Toyota Cheetahs in Parma, Italy, last weekend – have left the Welsh region in first place in Pool B with 10 points, nicely poised to qualify for the knockout stage.

“10 points from two games, you can’t ask for much more than that,” said Peel. “Confidence is huge when you are winning.

“This competition has given us a fresh start, but it has also narrowed our focus. The boys have really focused on these two games and had their rewards. I am hoping it kick-starts us going into an important derby season.”

Despite Scarlets’ impressive result in Round 2, Peel wasn’t totally happy with his team’s performance, especially in the second half, when Scarlets allowed Toyota Cheetahs to hit back from 38-7 down at the interval.

He said: “Apart from that first five minutes, that first half was good. We played really good rugby at times, managed to score some tries and I felt we were physical as well. Our off-the-ball work was good, we pressurised them and we managed to turn pressure into points.

“At half-time we spoke about not losing the second half. We had plenty of fight, but discipline-wise we weren’t great and it led to pressure after pressure and that wasn’t good enough in that period.

“In that first 30 minutes of the second half we were pretty poor. There were some elements where we weren’t great, but overall it was a good win.”