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Dwayne Peel

Scarlets Head Coach Dwayne Peel.

Peel urges bold approach to break semi-final Euro jinx

Scarlets are expecting a bumper crowd to help urge them on in the EPCR Challenge Cup semi-final against Glasgow Warriors at Parc Y Scarlets (Saturday, 29 April).

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The other piece of good news form head coach Dwayne Peel is that Leigh Halfpenny, Aaron Shingler, Sam Lousi and Dan Davis will all be available for selection for a game that could extend their season by one more game.

It means Wales icon Halfpenny could go out on a high after being released by the west Wales region. It will also be a swansong appearance for Aaron Shingler, who is retiring after giving 14 years of sterling service to the region having made his debut back in 2009.

Halfpenny suffered a head knock in the quarter-final victory over Clermont earlier this month, while back row man Davis has been sidelined since suffering a hamstring injury in the win over Sharks in March. Lousi has been passed fit after missing the last two games.

Peel knows all about the disappointment of losing at the semi-final stage in Europe having played in two of Scarlets previous four Heineken Champions Cup semi-finals. Reaching the final would be a major statement for him as coach, and the club as a whole.

“Not many of our guys have been where we are now in terms of semi-finals, especially the younger guys in the group. It is about them enjoying it,” said Peel.

“When I look back at my career one of the criticisms is that we probably did not play our best when we got to semi-finals. There were tight battles, but we have to go out there and be prepared to try and win.

“You have to be bold and go and win the game at this stage in semi-finals, not sit on or protect leads. We have to try and go and play – that’s what I will try and encourage the players to do.

“I’m sure it will be a great occasion with a good crowd, so it will be fantastic for them. Results-wise it’s been a good 2023 so far, but we want to finish strong and we’ve got a big opportunity at home.

“We had a poor start to the season, but I think this competition, in particular, has given us lots of energy and a lot of good performances. We know it’s going to be a big challenge to win it.

“Glasgow are on form at the minute. They had new management when Franco Smith came in and he’s done a really good job there.

“They play an attractive style of rugby and they’ve been a team, especially at home, that are very difficult to beat.”

SCARLETS SEMI-FINAL HISTORY IN EUROPE

HEINEKEN CUP – 7 May, 2000, Madejski Stadium, Reading
Northampton 31 Llanelli Scarlets 28

HT: 9-19 Att: 15,118

Northampton: N Beal; C Moir (A Northey 83), A Bateman, M Allen, B Cohen; A Hepher (P Grayson 77), M Dawson (D Malne 73); G Pagel, F Mendez, M Stewart (M Scelzo 63), A Newman (J Phillips 41), R Metcalfe, T Rodber, B Pountney, P Lam (captain, D Mackinnon 75))
Scorers: Tries: B Cohen, A Bateman; Pens: M Dawson 6, P Grayson

Llanelli Scarlets: M Cardey; W Proctor (captain), D James, N Boobyer, S Finau; S Jones, R Moon; P Booth (M Madden 73), R McBryde, J Davies, C Wyatt, C Gillies (V Cooper 73), S Easterby, I Boobyer (M Madden 48-56), S Quinnell
YC: P Booth
Scorers: Try: D James; Con: S Jones; Pens: S Jones 7
Referee: Alan Lewis (Ireland)

HEINEKEN CUP – 28 April, 2002, County Ground, Nottingham
Leicester Tigers 13 Llanelli Scarlets 12
HT: 3-9 Att: 29,849

Leicester Tigers: T Stimpson; G Murphy, O Smith, R Kafer, F Tuilagi (L Lloyd 71); A Healey, H Ellis (J Hamilton 64); G Rowntree, D West, D Garforth, M Johnson (captain), B Kay, L Moody, N Back, M Corry (A Balding 24-30)
Scorers: Try: H Ellis; Con: T Stimpson; Pens: T Stimpson 2

Llanelli Scarlets: G Evans (W Proctor 71); M Jones, N Boobyer, L Davies, S Finau; S Jones, G Easterby; M Madden, R McBryde, J Davies, V Cooper, C Wyatt (L Gross 72), D Hodges, S Easterby (I Boobyer 72), S Quinnell (captain)
Scorer: Pens: S Jones 4
Referee: David McHugh (Ireland)

HEINEKEN CUP – 21 April 2007, King Power Stadium, Leicester
Leicester Tigers 33 Llanelli Scarlets 17

HT: 16-10 Att: 30,121

Leicester Tigers: G Murphy; T Varndell, D Hipkiss, D Gibson (S Vesty 41), A Tuilagi (S Rabeni 67); A Goode, H Ellis; A Moreno (M Holford 63), G Chuter, J White, L Deacon, B Kay (L Cullen 61), L Moody, S Jennings (B Deacon 78), M Corry (captain, B Deacon 26-33)
YC: G Murphy 14, A Moreno 44
Scorers: Tries: L Deacon, S Jennings, A Goode; Cons: A Goode 3 ; Pens: A Goode 4

Llanelli Scarlets: B Davies; D James, R King, G Evans, M Jones; S Jones, D Peel; I Thomas, M Rees, D Manu, V Cooper (I Afeaki 71), S MacLeod, S Easterby (captain), G Thomas, A Popham (N Thomas 71)
YC: D Manu (44)
Scorers: Tries: M Rees, M Jones; Cons: S Jones 2; Pen: S Jones
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)

HEINEKEN CHAMPIONS CUP – 21 April 2018, Aviva Stadium
Leinster Rugby 38 Scarlets 16
HT: 24-9 Att: 48,455

Leinster Rugby: R Kearney; F McFadden (J Larmour 41), G Ringrose, R Henshaw, I Nacewa; J Sexton (captain, J Carbery 61), J Gibson-Park (N McCarthy 70); C Healy (J McGrath 51), S Cronin (J Tracy 57), T Furlong (A Porter 60), D Toner, J Ryan (R Molony 70), S Fardy, D Leavy (J Conan 66), Murphy
Scorers: Tries: J Sexton, C Healy, F McFadden, S Fardy, J Ryan; Cons: J Sexton 5; Pen: J Sexton

Scarlets: R Patchell; L Halfpenny, S Williams (S Hughes 74), H Parkes, S Evans; D Jones, G Davies ( Davies 70); R Evans (D Evans 74), K Owens (capain, R Elias 51), S Lee (W Kruger 51), T Beirne, D Bulbring (S Cummins 54), A Shingler (L Rawlins 66), J Davies, Barclay (W Boyde 70)
Scorers: Try: T Beirne; Con: R Patchell; Pens: L Halfpenny 3
Referee: Romain Poite (France)

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