Llanelli cannot believe their luck
April 22, 2000

Llanelli just could not believe their luck as they totted up four tries in the opening quarter to make a spirited comeback by Ebbw Vale irrelevant in a remarkable Welsh Cup semi-final at the Millennium Stadium.

Llanelli booked their 15th final appearance 38-26 after skipper Wayne Proctor sent them on their way with a try in just eight seconds after Ebbw Vale full-back had a kick charged down.

"That settled a few nerves and gave us the cushion we wanted," said Proctor, who went on to add a second try following another mistake by the unfortunate Williams half an hour later.

That helped his side to a 31-6 lead at the break and Proctor admitted it had been tough from there on as Ebbw Vale got their game together in the second half, which they took easily thanks to three tries in the last 10 minutes.

"But after beating Cardiff in the Heineken Cup in our last match and then this, it has been a tough two weeks for us," said Proctor. "But we got the victories we wanted."

It has been a tough two weeks for Ebbw Vale, too but without the victories they wanted. Their exit from the Welsh Cup came seven days after the last London Irish kick of a quarter-final tie had removed them from the European Shield.

But coach Leigh Jones remained defiant, saying, "We'll regroup. We have a realistic chance of winning at least three of our last four games."

Jones' assistant Richard Hill, who leaves to join Harlequins next month, was equally positive. "I am sure the players will respond in the correct manner," he promised.

Llanelli fears over Rupert Moon for next month's Heineken Cup semi-final against Northampton, were eased when coach Gareth Jenkins revealed that the scrum-half had nothing worse than a thigh strain and was expected to respond quickly to treatment.

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