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'We have to look at ourselves': Scarlets boss vents frustrations over loss

By PA
(Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel insists his side have no excuses for their 45-10 Champions Cup hammering at the hands of Bordeaux in France.

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The Welsh club got physically blown away by the leaders of the Top 14 at the Stade Chaban-Delmas, with the French club crossing for seven tries in total.

Louis Bielle-Biarrey scored a hat-trick of tries and Cameron Woki, Geoffrey Cross, Maxime Lamothe, and Nans Ducuing also crossed to fire Bordeaux to a bonus-point victory. Liam Williams, and Gareth Davies scored the only Scarlets tries.

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This was only the Scarlets’ second game in nearly three months due to Covid related postponements, but Peel refused to use that as an excuse.

“We have to look at ourselves in the mirror and get better,” said Peel. “We were not good enough today. We are disappointed.

“The reality is we did not respect the ball and turned over the ball too cheaply and put us under pressure. For large periods we held them up for as long as we could but offensively, especially for five minutes we put some good sets together but unfortunately, we let it slip under pressure.

“If we can’t keep hold of the ball you put yourself under that sustained pressure.”

There was late disruption with Scotland flanker Blade Thomson and Wales prop WillGriff John ruled out, replaced by Morgan Jones and Samson Lee.

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Bordeaux were also forced into late changes by three positive Covid tests, with half-backs Francois Trinh-Duc and Maxime Lucu dropping out of the original selection. Santiago Cordero, who usually plays on the wing, had to slot in at number nine, due to Bordeaux not having any fit scrum-halves.

The home side dominated from the first minute to the last but took 21 minutes to score their first try with Woki touching down after some lovely interplay between backs and forwards.

Cordero then set up 18-year-old full-back Bielle-Biarrey for a try in only his second match.

Scarlets full-back Williams was then sent to the sin bin for cynically killing the ball at the breakdown, and Cros took advantage for the hosts by crossing at the corner.

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Bielle-Biarrey scored his second just after half-time before Williams claimed a try back for the visitors after a neat cross-kick from Rhys Patchell.

Scarlets were unable to repeat the trick when Cordero latched on to a loose kick and set up a try for replacement hooker Lamothe.

Scrum-half Gareth Davies responded for Scarlets with a trademark interception try before replacement Ducuing dived over for Bordeaux’s sixth score and Bielle-Biarrey completed his hat-trick.

“We had two late changes, but we prepared for all situations, and you have to adapt to that,” said Peel.

“Morgan coming in did well and having a guy like Samson to come in and I thought Harri did well as well when he came on. The lack of rugby played a part, but the reality is the way we are not going to dwell on it.

“We are at home next week against Bristol, and it’s an important game for us because we want to progress in Europe. We will wait and see where we are come Tuesday when we meet up back home.”

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Jon 1 days ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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