Over 7,000 fans turned out to Watch the inaugural Anglo-Celtic Challenge, but the visiting Wasps supporters would have left Stradey Park wearing the biggest smiles as their side beat the Scarlets 20-17.
The English and European champions were confident winners in a match they controlled from the start to lay down a marker for the coming campaign. After going in to the break leading 15-3, Wasps took their foot off the gas to give the end result a flattering appearance for the Celtic champions.
The Challenge is scheduled to become a regular pre-season fixture, alternating between England and the home of the Celtic champions.
The Scarlets were missing seven regulars while the Scarlets had to do without five, including their new captain Simon Easterby, though Scott Quinnell was over a perforated eardrum sustained when he jumped into a swimming pool. However, Scarlets coach Gareth Jenkins will have food for thought after a close- season of relative inactivity in the transfer market.
The Scarlets missed the controlling influence of the Wales outside-half Stephen Jones, who has headed to Montferrand, and despite clawing their way into the game in the second period, the home side lost it in the final 15 minutes when Wasps tightened up their game.
The contest was wrapped up with a try by the wing Tom Voyce after Phillips had been sent to the sin-bin for a professional foul.
Wasps were markedly superior in the first half, leading 15-3 at the break with tries from their centres Peter Richards and Ayoola Erinle, and it was only when the double champions took off their flankers Jonny O'Connor and Joe Worsley at the start of the second period, along with the substitution of the prop Will Green, that the Scarlets gained the ascendancy.
Llanelli took the lead with opportunist tries by the scrum-half Mike Phillips and the wing Aisea Havili but their relative inactivity in the summer transfer market despite a squad full of veterans may see them overtaken as Wales's premier side in the Heineken Cup this season
Wasps centre Peter Richards, who was named man of the match for his second half exploits, said that they are happy just to have come away with a win. "It's a tough place to come to play [in Llanelli], so we're delighted with the win," he said.
Scarlets director of rugby Gareth Jenkins was also a happy man, despite his team going down.
"The intensity and pace of the game were exactly what we wanted," he said.
Llanelli Scarlets: Evans; Havili, Taylor, Finau, R Rees (Watkins, h-t); Bowen (capt; A Thomas, h-t;), Phillips; I Thomas, M Rees, Thiel (Davies, 77), Cooper, Jones, Powell (McDonald, 73), G Thomas, Quinnell (Easterby, h-t).
Tries: Phillips, Havili. Cons: Bowen 2. Pen: Bowen.
Wasps: Van Gisbergen; Lewsey (Priscott, h-t), Erinle, Richards (Wellwood, 77), Voyce; Brooks (Thrower, 77) Dawson (Fury, 54); Payne, Leota (Gotting, 69), Green (Nwume, h-t), Skivington, Birkett (Hart, 77), Worsley (Lock, h-t), O'Connor (Haskell, h-t), Dallaglio (capt).
Tries: Richards, Erinle, Voyce. Con: Van Gisbergen. Pen: Van Gisbergen.
Referee: A Rolland (Ireland). Att: 6,754.