Sale Sharks and Bath Rugby are the only teams to reach the halfway point in the Pool stages of the 11th season of the Heineken Cup with three wins from three, Jason Robinson's Sharks one of the five sides to pull off crucial away wins as they triumphed 20-16 at Castres Olympique.
On a weekend of away day specials, Munster won at Newport Gwent Dragons; Cardiff Blues at Rugby Calvisano; Stade Français Paris at ASM Clermont Auvergne and Toulouse at Edinburgh Gunners.
But 2004 Heineken Cup champions London Wasps, who needed to be among those picking up points on the road, saw their quarter-final qualifying hopes sink with a 21-13 defeat at Llanelli Scarlets that leaves Lawrence Dallaglio's team rooted to the foot of Pool 6 with just three points, eight adrift from table toppers and defending champions Toulouse.
The victory at a fog-shrouded Stradey Park keeps the Scarlets in the qualifying mix though they now face successive away challenges at Wasps on Sunday and then Edinburgh Gunners in Round 5 in 2006.
"We are in with a shout but it has always been, and still is, a hugely difficult group from which to qualify," said Scarlets coach Nigel Davies.
"As far as we are concerned, it is only half a job done. It will need the same sort of performance - or one even better - at Wasps on Sunday.
"Things are now looking difficult for Wasps in the Pool but they have been hurt by our win and will want to get something back out of the return fixture and show everyone what they are capable of producing.
"I can see them coming out pretty hard at us and we will have to be at the top end of our game, but that is the challenge for us to meet."
The Stradey Park showdown was always going to as good as end the Heineken Cup hopes of one team for another year and Davies accepts that the Scarlets came good when it really mattered.
"It certainly was a big performance - but then we always knew that it would need that if we were to stay in touch in the group," he said.
"The display was probably 10-times better than the one the previous week against Sale Sharks and naturally we are delighted with that improvement.
"The boys will now have two days off and that still leaves us the time to prepare for the trip to the Causeway Stadium.
"The bottom line is that we have to go to Wasps next weekend and then Edinburgh in the new year and try and get results there before taking on Toulouse at Stradey Park. There is still an enormous amount of hard work to be done."
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