Scarlets: Wayne Pivac pays tribute to team after Tigers win

Bruising tackle in the match between Scarlets and Leicester
Scarlets lost their opening Europan Rugby Champions Cup game in Toulon

Coach Wayne Pivac paid tribute to injury-hit Scarlets' tenacity after they ground-out a 15-3 win over Leicester in the Champions Cup.

The Welsh region finished with wing Kristian Phillips playing flanker as they ran out of forward replacements.

The New Zealander was happy his side denied Tigers a losing bonus point.

"It was helter-skelter trying to work out who went where, and for the players to deal with that I thought they did really well," said Pivac.

"It was a good test of character for the group that's why I'm so pleased that we came away with the win, but also denied them a bonus point at the end.

"[It] is important and I couldn't have asked for more from the group, to be honest."

Scarlets recovered from poor start against Leicester with opportunist tries by wing Harry Robinson and scrum-half Aled Davies clinching a crucial win after their opening round defeat in Toulon.

And the win was achieved in spite of severe injury disruptions before and during the match.

Wales lock Jake Ball withdrew with a hamstring injury after the pre-match warm-up and his replacement Richard Kelly lasted only half an hour before suffering a broken arm.

Aled Davies
Aled Davies celebrates scoring his crucial try against Leicester.

Kelly was the third Scarlet to be replaced during the first half following on from number eight Rory Pitman (10 min) who injured a shoulder and centre Scott Williams (20 min) who had a hamstring problem.

Phillips' brief cameo as a flanker came when Lewis Rawlins - on for Kelly - limped off with a hamstring injury with three minutes remaining and was replaced by the 5ft 8in Jordan Williams.

"There's not a lot you can do when your forwards are wiped out and you've got Jordan Williams coming on to the field," added Pivac.

"It was 'who's going to go in to the forwards' so Kristian drew the short straw and I think he was leaning on the run there I think a little bit."

"Once the players realised they had won the game they could have slackened off but they didn't, they realised they had to control the ball and use up time and make sure Leicester didn't get a point."

Scarlets face a December double-header against Ulster who lost their opening two games against Leicester and Toulon.

The Irish region have say they have not given up on their European campaign, and Pivac believes it would be foolish to underestimate them.

"We played them here in round one [of the Pro 12] and they got a draw, they taught us to play for 80 minutes and it's a lesson we're slowly learning," added Pivac.

"I think they'll be very difficult - all the sides in our group and most groups are very tough sides."

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