Rugby Union Columnist
Scarlets are relishing the Heineken Cup, says Jonathan Davies
Jonathan Davies reflects on Scarlets' win over Quins and looks forward to facing Racing Metro.
Last Updated: 21/10/13 10:37am
It was a really great game to be involved in against Harlequins and the first 25 minutes were really high tempo and I was really blowing at times.
The journey back was really good and the boys are in a really good place - a three-hour-plus bus journey is even longer when you have lost so it was fantastic to get the win.
A lot was said in the build-up about us not winning a game last year and how were we going to compete this season.
People were suggesting that we were going to be the whipping boys but we always had confidence in the group, we knew we had the potential to deliver.
We knew that if we produced the intensity at the breakdown to give us quick ball then we could play the way we know we can.
That really showed against Quins because when we had the quick ball then we were very dangerous. We have really got something to build on going forward.
We have got Racing Metro at home on Saturday and so far it's been a good week. The boys were a bit tired on Monday but we have really ramped it up as the week has progressed.
We watched Racing's win against Clermont Auvergne on Sunday night and are well aware of the task ahead - that was a really physical affair and we have got to look to replicate what we did at the Stoop.
While our win was good, we also know that we have a lot to work on. We were quite slack at time; from the backs perspective we were loose for starters and gave a couple of turnovers away.
We won't be approaching this game any differently, though.
The way we played on Saturday just suits us down to the ground - high-tempo with everyone dying to get their hands on the ball. We will stick to that and try and take Racing out of their comfort zone.
Clermont showed that there are line-breaks to be had and we have to make sure that when we get the ball we use it and keep it for as long as possible.
It's a pity we won't be up against Jamie Roberts on Saturday as he is out of the Racing side due to injury. Dan [Lydiate] is expected to start, though, and I'm expecting a bit of banter on Thursday from Paris as we have a scheduled Skype call after training.
Racing have a pretty impressive squad - they look like they could put out a totally different XV to the one that won on Sunday and still be highly competitive in this competition.
For us we cannot afford to take it for granted that we will just perform the way we did against Harlequins.
We have to make sure that we do the hard work and prepare - performances don't just happen, they come with hard work and good preparation.
On the bus back from London we watched the Ospreys against Leinster and it was a real arm-wrestle of a game.
I think the difference in that game was that when Leinster had their chances they took them and made them count. I think they really showed their Heineken Cup pedigree in that game.
As for Cardiff, well they will be really disappointed with their performance in the first half against Exeter.
They got off to a really bad start but showed in the second half that they can play. They have got so much talent in their side that I am sure they will concentrate hard on sorting that out.
Finally I would like to thank the travelling support that cheered us on at the Stoop - it was excellent. It was a real boost to hear the crowd getting behind us.
I really hope we get a big crowd on Saturday because it is a massive game and the boys love playing in front of a big crowd.