We are very much alive – Pivac

Date published: December 15 2014

Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac is backing his side to push hard for Champions Cup knockout rugby after they beat Ulster 22-13 on Sunday.

A late converted score from James Davies saw the Welsh region send Ulster home point-less as the Scarlets jumped up to second in Pool 3.

In January the Scarlets will travel to Leicester before they host Toulon in what are tough games, but Pivac is backing his team to kick on.

“The sides are very even in this group and at the moment we are very much alive in the group,” the head coach told Press Association Sport.

“We are holding our own in the group but the next two games – Toulon home and Leicester away – are going to be very tough

“I’m happy to get the result but we possibly made it harder than we wanted to .

“We did the hard work in the first half and it was disappointing to give away a try at the start of the second.

“I think the penalty count in the first half was 9-3 in our favour which was a turnaround from the week before in Belfast.

“I was also pleased the way we closed the game out at the end especially after we concede a try straight after half-time.”

Meanwhile it was a very different outlook from Ulster coach Neil Doak, who admitted their defeat in Llanelli all but ended their European aspirations.

“It’s going to be difficult to get out of the group with the result last week. We have just got to see how the next two games go,” he said.

“Obviously Toulon away is no easy ask and we will have to play particularly well to get something out of that.

“The boys have dug in well and hopefully with the injuries we have got we’ll get a few bodies back in January. Hopefully that will be the catalyst to finish this phase off before the Six Nations

“We started the second half very well and got a try and nearly got another.

“First half was poor from our point of view with regards to discipline – 11 penalties to three. We talked about it especially in the conditions.

“Credit to the guys that they got back in the game – some good decisions by Luke Marshall and Darren Cave. It’s just unfortunate we couldn’t get that second try that would have taken us into the lead.

“These top European games are always nip and tuck especially in the conditions. So you have to get those chances and we just didn’t deliver on the night.”