A very honest and focused account from Scarlets Head Coach Simon Easterby outlined that there were too many errors in their game and hadn't been smart enough as they lost 20-13 to a clinical and focused Leinster.
A spirited fight-back in the second half saw the Scarlets pick up a losing bonus point as they clawed their way back in a very physical and intense encounter at Parc y Scarlets.
A brilliant try by outside-centre Gareth Maule in the 54th minute, sparked the home crowd of close to 10,000 when he raced 40 metres to touch down in the corner, rounding opposite number Brian O'Driscoll on the way, to lift Scarlets hearts at 14-10.
But the champions experience told, backed by more than 680 European appearances in total across the Leinster starting XV with
Following a tight game against Heineken new-comers Exeter Chiefs last weekend, the Leinster front five had said in the run-up to the game they'd had a 'wake up call' and there was obvious intent to put the record straight in the high stakes game at Parc y Scarlets.
The intent and experience told in the battle up front and with two changes forced through injury at the end of the first half with the Scarlets losing second row combination George Earle and Joe Snyman, a solid set-piece performance from the home side in the first half was then put under pressure by Leinster.
Head Coach Simon Easterby said: "We did well to claw our way back into the game in the second half coming from 11-0 down and that showed guts and commitment; we'd said at half time that we just needed to get some simple things right and not chase the game too much.
"But ultimately, there's no excuses - there was a large error count in our game and some poor execution and that cost us dear.
"When you play a team like Leinster, you've got to make sure your error count is low and without doubt they won the battle of the breakdown in the first half and we stood off too much in this area.
"We just weren't smart enough - we could see and knew the way the game was being refereed in this area. We'd spoken about that and focused on it before the game.
"Leinster are very good at winning games and tight games like this one. It's a mark of the quality of the team that they can do that consistently.
"The impact of our second row combination coming off undoubtedly disrupted the set-piece in the second half and our scrum was under more pressure so we conceded penalties in that area. That's mentally a tough thing to take because they are like nothing penalties really - they just had a bit of an edge in the scrum after we made those changes."
Speaking after the game, Leinster head coach Joe Schmidt credited the Scarlets' resolve in coming back from 14-0 down to secure a losing bonus point.
Schmidt said: "We performed really well and put a good defensive performance together and to contain the sort of armoury the Scarlets can throw at you - we were delighted to keep them scoreless for so long.
"They had some really good moments of pressure but we managed to keep them off the line. Fair play to the Scarlets they gave nothing up. They kept working really hard in attack and they got their just reward in the end. They came within four points and it was game on."
On their Heineken Cup campaign, Simon Easterby said the Scarlets had put themselves in a "very difficult position" after two losses to last year's semi-finalists and the reigning champions.
After Clermont's win over Exeter, Leinster and Clermont Auvergne are now the two favourites to get into the last eight of Pool 5 and will be tipped to as two top teams go all the way in the competition.
Easterby said: "It's very disappointing for us all, and difficult to take but we will pick up and move on. We will have a big part to play in this group and there are four games left and still a lot of rugby to be played.
"We showed in two halves, one in Clermont and one this week that we can compete and get the better of sides in Europe - but we have to sustain that over 80 minutes.
"Equally we have an important game against Edinburgh on Friday night in the league - which will be a big focus for us."
The Scarlets sit second in the RaboDirect PRO12 league and play Edinburgh at Murrayfield this Friday evening.
Heart and Soul Rugby country then hosts new Italian side Zebre at Parc y Scarlets on Saturday 3rd November 2012 kick off 6.30pm.