Llanelli remain on course for double

Llanelli 46 Bridgend 24
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The Independent Online

Llanelli continued their pursuit of a domestic and European Cup double adamant they will give last four opponents Ebbw Vale and Leicester Tigers strictly equal respect.

The Scarlets will meet Ebbw Vale in the Principality Cup semi-finals at the Millennium Stadium in 12 days time after beating battling Bridgend in a seven-try quarter-final thriller at Stready Park on Saturday.

Then, 15 days later they carry the hopes of Wales as they take on Martin Johnson's defending Heineken Cup champions in the last four of Europe's premier club tournament.

Llanelli have won the Welsh knock-out version 11 times and this will be a phenomenal 23rd semi-final for the Cup kings in the competition's 31-years.

While no Welsh club has laid hands on the coveted Heineken Cup the Llanelli director of rugby, Gareth Jenkins, defended the domestic cup. "I don't agree with people who say the Welsh Cup is undervalued. It is a large part of Welsh rugby's tradition. It has developed into a huge competition in its own right."

Bridgend gave Llanelli anything but an easy ride into the last four, twice taking the lead and ahead by six points after 50 minutes of a fast, free-flowing tie.

However, the dismissal of Richard Bryan to the sin-bin proved pivotal. The Scarlets rattled up 20 points and demonstrate the ruthless scoring streak they will need to keep that double dream alive.

Llanelli: Tries I Boobyer 2, M Jones, Evans, Bowen; Conversions S Jones 3; Penalties S Jones 5. Bridgend: Tries Durston, Havili; Conversion Warlow; Penalties Warlow 4.

Llanelli: G Evans; M Jones, N Boobyer (T Selley, 33; G Bowen 78), L Davies, S Finau; S Jones (capt), G Easterby (D Peel, 45); M Madden, R McBryde, J Davies (P Booth 48), V Cooper (L Gross, 55), C Wyatt, D Jones, I Boobyer, D Hodges (S Morgan, 66).

Bridgend: A Durston; Daniel Jones, D James, G Thomas (capt), A Havili (C Rees, 17), C Warlow, J Hewlett (H Harries, 57), C Loader, G Williams, C Noon (J Thiel, 15), P Clapham (K Stewart, 61), Deiniol Jones, R Bryan (S van Rensburg, 63), J Ringer, N Budgett (M Molitika, h-t).

Referee: P Adams (WRU).