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‘Abysmal, embarrassing, a shambles!’ The Shane Williams and Sean Holley verdict on Welsh weekend of woe

“Abysmal”. “Embarrassing”. “Shambles”. These are the words of Shane Williams and Sean Holley to describe a wretched weekend for the Welsh regions.

All four pro teams lost to English opposition in the last 16 of the two European competitions.

Cardiff Blues, the Ospreys and the Dragons were beaten by London Irish, Newcastle and Northampton in the Challenge Cup, having each held commanding leads at various points.

And the Scarlets went down to a 57-14 hammering at home to Sale in the Champions Cup, leaking six tries.

Now Wales wing legend Williams and former Ospreys coach Holley have delivered their verdict on the weekend of woe on The Tuesday Club podcast.

Williams started off by reflecting on the thumping endured by Glenn Delaney’s team against Sale.

“It was an abysmal game as far as the Scarlets were concerned,” he said.

“They were absolutely dominated. Even when the Scarlets had the ball, Sale just rushed them in defence and just didn’t allow them to do anything.

“The Scarlets love to throw the ball around and play some lovely intricate passing and moves. Sale just didn’t allow it and just played them off the park.

“It was a great game to watch if you were a Sale fan or a neutral because there were some great tries in the game.

“But I almost felt sorry for the Scarlets, it was that bad a performance from them and that good a performance from Sale.

Adding his thoughts, Holley said: “It’s an embarrassing scoreline.

“That’s the thing for me, the nature of the defeat was embarrassing.

“57 points at home and Sale aren’t the best side in the English Premiership by a long way. To not front up like that is pretty embarrassing.

“And it’s not just the Scarlets.

“The Ospreys should beat Newcastle at home.

“The Cardiff Blues were against 14 men and in the lead. They should win.

“The Dragons should win from the position they were in at home.

“So it looks a little bit like the balloon has been popped after the Six Nations.

“It’s been the story for the last couple of seasons unfortunately.”

Williams was at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday commentating on the Ospreys’ 28-24 Challenge Cup defeat to Newcastle.

It was a game that saw a momentum shift following yellow cards for Wales forwards Justin Tipuric and Adam Beard after the hosts had raced into an early 14-0 lead.

“How the Ospreys lost to Newcastle, I still have no idea,” said the 87-cap Williams.

“Newcastle weren’t a good side. The Ospreys were on fire the first 10, 15 minutes and then just fell out with the ref.

“They just completely threw it away. It was a shambles.

“They just completely imploded and a lot of that was the ill discipline of the senior players that have just come back from the Six Nations where they had one of the best discipline records there.”



The Scarlets players following their heavy home defeat against Sale

Holley also addressed the issue of some Wales players making their first appearances for the regions since January in the European ties.

“Sometimes it’s not an easy thing for the boys to come back in,” he said.

“You have just had a Championship-winning campaign, you get one week off and then two proper team sessions to be prepared for the biggest regional game of the season.

“It’s difficult to gel them back and really difficult to manage.

“Sometimes it’s braver and better to leave some of those players out because you had guys there for six to ten weeks who have been slugging away.

“The Scarlets had a great comeback against Connacht. Who is to say you couldn’t have put that team out and filled the bench up with boys coming back from internationals?”

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