European Champions Cup; Scarlets must stay positive, says Ken Owens

Ken Owens in action against Saracens
Scarlets had beaten Sale Sharks in their opening European Champions Cup game

Scarlets captain Ken Owens says the team have "got to be positive" despite facing a Champions Cup double-header against Toulon.

Scarlets will have to take points off the three-times European champions after losing 44-26 to holders Saracens on Saturday.

The Welsh region face the French side in back-to-back games in December.

"We've already improved on last year with one win and we've got to keep building" said Wales hooker Owens.

Scarlets return to Pro12 action on Friday with a derby against Welsh rivals Cardiff Blues.

Wales' only Champions Cup representatives were not helped by a string of injuries in the defeat at Allianz Park.

Wales centre Scott Williams pulled out before kick-off with an ankle problem, full-back Liam Williams rolled his ankle after 13 minutes and limped off, while lock Jake Ball's late exit with a rib injury saw centre Hadleigh Parkes forced into emergency flanker duty.

Liam Williams
Wales full-back Liam Williams left the field during the first half of Scarlets' defeat at Saracens

"There were some positives out there but we were second best really, they put us under pressure and we cracked," added Owens.

"We've got to dust ourselves off, we disappointed here after a good performance against Sale, but Sale and Saracens have showed the way in how to beat Toulon.

"I thought Sale could have got a victory against them if they had taken a couple of chances. We've got to take heart, analyse them and we've got a big chance back-to-back against another formidable side."

Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac acknowledged that Saracens are among the favourites to retain their title after their five-try performance against his side.

"They're a class side, they've got forwards that are running like backs and they challenge you right across the park, they're certainly a team to beat" Pivac told BBC Wales Sport.

Pivac now has to reorganise his side, almost certainly without Wales players on national training duties, for the trip to Cardiff Arms Park on Friday.

"It's an opportunity for those players who've been doing the work behind those players," added Pivac.

"It's a derby match, hopefully we'll lick our wounds and get up for that one since the Blues are a side who probably cost us a place in the top four last year."

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