Leigh Halfpenny kicked four first half penalties in Friday’s European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-final against La Rochelle ensuring the side went into the changing room with their noses in front.
A further penalty and two conversions, after tries from Rhys Patchell and Scott Williams, saw the Scarlets claim the scalp of the decade ensuring their place in a first European semi final in eleven years.
A huge fillip for a side that lost their two opening rounds of the campaign, against Toulon and Bath respectively, before turning the campaign on its head to finish top of the pool.
Speaking after the game British & Irish Lion Leigh Halfpenny said; “It’s an absolute pleasure to be going out there with these boys and I’m thoroughly enjoying playing in the side with these guys here. There has been a lot of hard work done over the years to get us to this stage.
“It was a massive occasion for the club, for us as players and coaches and supporters alike.
We saw this as a huge opportunity for us and we wanted to go out there and grab it with both hands in front of an incredible atmosphere.
“There were times where we were tested as a team but the character the boys showed to hold them out was the turning point in the game.
“It’s an amazing feeling and I’m loving playing with this bunch of boys and it was a pleasure to play with them this evening.
“Credit to Cubby he was outstanding on the wing I thought. It’s not easy to go and change position but shows the quality of the guy, and the quality and intelligence he has as a rugby player.
“The boys had to dig deep and adjust, that adjustment, we delivered on that. I think the character out there tonight was massive and went a long way to win this game.
“We want to achieve in Europe and in the domestic league. I think the quality we have we can do that. We’ve shown tonight that we can play against the big sides. It’s going to be a massive game in the semi final.
“It was a case of being patient. Second half we showed that patience and immense character in defence. Opportunities came in the latter stages of the game and we took them.”
Scarlets will face Leinster Rugby at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, on Saturday 21st April in the European Rugby Champions Cup semi final.