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Scarlets captain Ken Owens, and his fellow internationals, wasted no time in getting back into regional action as they took to the field against Munster on Friday evening only days after bowing out of the Rugby World Cup with Wales.

Owens, second row Jake Ball and tighthead prop Samson Lee were all named in the starting line up with try machine scrum half Gareth Davies named on the replacements bench.

In what was a huge top of the table clash at Parc y Scarlets the homeside went behind after only five minutes of play. Two second half tries, for wingers DTH van der Merwe and Tom Williams, kept the region in the game and an 80th minute penalty by Steven Shingler secured the victory in the most dramatic of fashions.

Owens was delighted with the victory after ‘working hard for each other’ but was also disappointed with some of the set-piece play. Speaking after the game he said: “We’re definitely frustrated with certain aspects. Everybody will be talking about the line-out but it was just one of those evenings. We’re going to have to wipe the slate clean, look at it in the week and work hard.

“To be fair there was a lot of new personnel, four new players in the pack and we had one training session in the week. That’s not an excuse at this level but things just didn’t work.”

He went on to say: “We’re still five from five, the amount of times we’ve gone out to Cork or Limerick and faced the Irish sides, played well and lost in the last minute. This was another good win, there were some positives out there and we’re back top of the league.

“The character of the boys and the effort was there for everybody to see. The scrum was solid, which gave us a platform, and we attacked well off that. We got some decent turnovers, stuck at it, worked really hard for each other and got the result, which is the most important thing.”

After the disappointment of Wales’ early exit from the Rugby World Cup Owens is pleased to be back with his region and enjoying the buoyant mood in camp. He said: “I haven’t had much game time at the World Cup. It was nice to get 75 minutes under the belt and get back in to it.

“There’s a huge positive vibe here at the moment, the way the region’s going, and there are a lot of positives here at the moment. It’s a great environment to be a part of.”

Scarlets take on Newport Gwent Dragons on Friday evening, kick-off 6pm, in the first Welsh derby of the season. Owens is expecting a tough challenge as the Scarlets look to hold on to their unbeaten run.

“Dragons have been playing some good stuff. It’s going to be a tough game, confrontational up front but we’re looking forward to it. Hopefully we can build on this momentum and go six from six.”

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