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It’s All In Scarlet Hands

It’s All In Scarlet Hands

Llanelli will need a strong game plan at Stradey Park on Saturday if they are to end Leicester Tigers’ record 11-match Heineken Cup winning run – and be in with a shout of going through to the quarter-finals as one of the best two runners-up.Phil Murphy, Perpignan’s Canadian back row forward who left the Scarlets with a mountain to climb after their 42-10 triumph in France last Friday night, believes the Tigers are firm favourites for the Pool 1 clash in front of the BBC Grandstand cameras. ‘It was good to win at home against Llanelli,’ said Murphy. ‘We knew what to expect from a very heavy, physical pack and we tried to move them about a lot more than we would normally have done to tire them out.’Then we let our backs do the business. It worked out right – they got tired and we put 40 points on the board.’And for Llanelli to beat Leicester, they will have to kill the ball a lot more.’If they let the English forwards play the ball next week they will never stop them. They are renowned for increasing in momentum during a match. They start at 200 mph and finish at 250.’I’m not saying Leicester are unstoppable because I believe we could have beaten them on a better day, it all depends on the team mentality. There are no guaranteed wins or losses in rugby anymore, but I certainly think Llanelli will have to try and slow the game down, then use their big centres to crash through.’I would put Leicester to win by eight points, simply because I have played them twice and lost twice. I only played in the home match against Llanelli and we won that game.’Llanelli now have it all to do – team manager Anthony Buchanan pinning a large slice of their hopes on pride in the Scarlet jersey.’We are a proud club and know we have to get things back on track immediately,’ said the former Wales prop. ‘We have a big game on Saturday to prepare for.’We have to get back together for Leicester with a positive determination and a positive attitude – we have a few players to come back and we can turn this around.’A win in Perpignan would have left Llanelli nicely placed to challenge for the group leadership and at worst be right up there amongst the best runners-up with their current 22 tries.’It was hugely disappointing,’ added Buchanan. ‘But there are no excuses. We went there with ambition and that was destroyed. Perpignan are a good side and we saw French rugby at its best.’

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