Aaron Shingler expecting brutal battle for Scarlets against Racing Metro
AARON Shingler believes a “brutal battle” awaits against Racing Metro tomorrow (6pm) — but insists the Scarlets forwards are right up for the fight.
After coming out on top in a free-flowing Heineken Cup thriller at The Stoop last weekend, the Scarlets are bracing themselves for a far more attritional contest at Parc y Scarlets in round two.
The Parisians will arrive in Llanelli boasting some devastating broken-field runners, but Shingler believes the home side will have to prove they can scrap it out up front if they are emerge with another prized European scalp.
“Early on it is going to be a physical battle and I am not sure if there are going to be as many off-loads as last week,” said the Wales international.
“If the game breaks up I think it will suit us, but we are expecting it to be a tight, hard-fought battle early on.
“It is going to be a brutal game and one where we need to fight for everything and hopefully get the win by battling hard.”
Much has been made of Racing’s stellar squad list this season, but Shingler believes the unity of the Scarlets camp could be a key factor in the outcome of this Pool 4 tie.
“We have been together a bit longer and are a bit of a tighter group. I think that will count in our favour on the weekend,” he added.
“They have good individuals, but haven’t been together for as long. Hopefully that will show on Saturday because we do a lot of work together a team. We are going to war together, if you like, and are looking for a big performance.”
Shingler’s superb all-round display at The Stoop earned him a place in the Amlin Opta Index team of round one — the only Welsh presence in the side.
After outshining England skipper Chris Robshaw, he is set to face another big international name tomorrow — his Wales colleague Dan Lydiate, one of Racing’s many high-profile summer arrivals.
“Hopefully that will be the case,” he added. “He is a good player, a Lion, and I am looking forward to that challenge.
“Obviously, he is a very good defensive player, very gritty in the contact and hard to get through.
“A lot of their players are also very physical like Dan so I think it is going to be a different sort of challenge this week.”
The Scarlets pack will be without prop Samson Lee, who has been banned for two weeks after being found guilty of stamping by an independent disciplinary hearing in Dublin yesterday.
Lee was yellow carded by referee John Lacey in the second half at The Stoop — on the advice of the television match official — but was later cited.
The 20-year-old pleaded not guilty at the hearing, but after submissions from the player, Scarlets representative Gareth Jenkins and ERC disciplinary officer Roger O’Connor, the panel’s judicial officer Rod McKenzie (Scotland) ruled that the incident warranted a two-week suspension.
An ERC statement read: “The judicial officer determined that Lee was going for the ball, but in doing so, Lee’s boot made contact with Danny Care’s face in a reckless manner, and that in his opinion, the offence warranted a red card.
“He found that the act was at the low-end entry point of the IRB’s sanctioning regime (two weeks) and although there were no aggravating factors, and although Lee had a clean record, the player had pleaded not guilty and therefore, no mitigation was possible in this case.”
Lee is free to play on Monday, October 28 and both the player and ERC have the right to appeal. South African tight-head Jacobie Adriaanse is set to step in for Saturday’s second-round clash with Racing Metro in Llanelli.
The Scarlets’ other recognised tight-head Deacon Manu is currently sidelined with a broken arm, but Wales international Rhodri Jones can provide further cover.