Perpignan are the first side through to the semi-final of this year’s Heineken Cup following their 26-19 win over Llanelli in Stradey Park last night.
Perpignan are the first side through to the semi-final of the Heineken Cup following their 26-19 win over Llanelli in Stradey Park last night. They will now play the winners of this afternoon’s tie at Lansdowne Road between Leinster Lions and Biaritz.
Everyone concerned with Llanelli, players, management and supporters alike, will be bitterly disappointed at their side’s failure to set up a semi-final date. They will look back on the early part of the encounter with the French club and point to two incidents that effectively sealed their fate.
The first occured when referee Tony Spreadbury awarded a penalty try, during the very early exchanges, penalising Simon Easterby for what he adjudged was a late tackle on Jean-Marc Souverbie.
They might have recovered from that setback and indeed Stephen Jones had reduced the deficit with a penalty but within moments of that score they were reduced to 14 when Dafydd Jones was sent off for stamping on the head of Ludovic Loustau.
Llanelli recovered superbly and another penalty from Jones and his conversion of Martyn Madden’s had the Scarllets in front with half-time approaching.
However, just before the break, Perpignan scored their second try, Phil Murphy the scorer, and in the second half, Manny Edmonds won the game for his side, his two-drop goals in the 60th and 75th minute, proving crucial in securing a date with either Leinster in Dublin or Biarritz in France.