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Page last updated at 19:44 GMT, Sunday, 18 January 2009

Jones relieved by Stade success

Stephen Jones tries to beat Stade Francais' Sylvian Marconnet
Jones guided the Scarlets home with a 16-point haul

Stephen Jones told his Scarlets team-mates to learn from the pain of an 11-match winless European streak after their stunning win over Stade Francais.

The fly-half inspired Scarlets to their first Heineken Cup victory for two years with a 16-point haul in a 31-17 victory over the two-time runners-up.

"We must learn the hard lessons from our experiences and use it to move forward," Jones told BBC Sport.

"That was a great victory and with that comes an element of relief."

Centre Jonathan Davies scored two tries and number eight David Lyons added another as the European super-powers suffered a shock exit in this year's competition.

The Scarlets had no hopes of qualifying for the knock-out stage before Sunday's Parc y Scarlets showdown but Jones insists the result is important as it will boost the squad's morale and confidence.

"We knew what our record has been in Europe in the last two years," said the Wales istar.

"It has been disappointing to say the least and it is great to have finally got a win and now it is all about moving forward and staying positive."

The Scarlets have traditionally been Wales' flag-bearers in Europe's premier club competition but the West Wales region are currently in transition.

606: DEBATE

But Jones, who has appeared in three European semi-finals and four quarter-finals during his time in Llanelli, sees the victory over Stade as a benchmark for the developing Scarlets.

"I'm happy because it was good performance and the best we have played this season by a long way," he added.

"There was a good balance in our game and because our forwards gave us good go-forward ball, that allowed us to play on the front foot."

The Scarlets' last victory in Europe was a 2007 Heineken Cup quarter-final victory over Munster almost two years ago.

"A win has been a long time coming," said Scarlets skipper Simon Easterby.

"But we now have to build on the momentum and the performance.

"The new stadium is starting to feel like home now and we want to build on that."

Victory for the patched-up Welshmen, who had just nine fit backs, came at a cost however.

Flanker Johnathan Edwards and lock Simon Maling were both taken to hospital with arm injuries to add to the injury worries for coach Nigel Davies. New Zealander Maling has a suspected broken arm.



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see also
Heineken Cup 2008/9
17 Jul 08 |  Rugby Union
Scarlets 31-17 Stade Francais
18 Jan 09 |  Rugby Union
Heineken Cup tables
09 Aug 06 |  Tables
European rugby archive
16 Aug 06 |  Rugby Union
Scrum V's Welsh rugby webguide
14 Aug 07 |  Welsh
Welsh regions & their opponents
17 Aug 07 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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