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Scarlets seek to overturn history

Thursday 21st November 2019

12:15 pm (GMT)

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Scarlets seek to overturn history

Steff Hughes dives over for Scarlets' second try in their European Rugby Challenge Cup Round 1 win over London Irish last weekend

Scarlets will hope to defy history when they travel to Stade Felix Mayol on Friday, as RC Toulon have won their last nine home games in the European Rugby Challenge Cup.

The pair have met seven times before in Europe, but only once in the Challenge Cup – a quarter-final in 2010, which Toulon 38-12 at home.

Key facts

  • Toulon and Scarlets were paired together in the pool stage of the Heineken Champions Cup in 2016/17 and 2017/18, with the home side winning on each occasion.
  • Scarlets won all 83 of their attacking rucks in their 20-16 home Round 1 victory over London Irish, one of just three teams to boast a 100 per cent success rate.
  • Scarlets’ Uzair Cassiem made all 18 of his tackles last weekend, the second highest completion rate of Round 1.

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Belleau thwarts brave Scarlets challenge

Friday 22nd November 2019

10:39 pm (GMT)

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Belleau thwarts brave Scarlets challenge

Anthony Belleau, RC Toulon's matchwinner in their last-gasp success against Scarlets on Friday

Anthony Belleau was RC Toulon’s hero as he kicked a last-gasp conversion to leave Scarlets with only a losing bonus point to show from a thrilling European Rugby Challenge Cup tie between Pool 2’s leading two teams on Friday.

Despite being reduced to 14 men on the stroke of half-time after a red card for lock Tevita Ratuva, the Welsh region led 16-10 going into the dying seconds following a superb second-half display, which brought penalties for Ryan Lamb and Dan Jones, who also dropped a goal.

However, the pressure of being a man light finally told in the eighth minute of stoppage time, when Toulon’s backs and forwards combined to maul their way over the line 10 metres in from touch.

Sébastien Taofifénua was eventually credited with the try and up stepped centre Belleau to land the ultimate pressure kick, albeit with the help of a post.

Toulon were 10-7 ahead at the break, having taken the lead in the ninth minute, when a cross-kick found right wing Gervais Cordin, who touched down for a try that Belleau converted.

But within five minutes Scarlets were level, after full-back Johnny McNicholl pulled off a brilliant interception try, which Lamb converted.

Belleau then nudged Toulon ahead at the break with a 31st minute penalty and it was the centre who was to prove Scarlets’ nemesis at the end.

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