THE Welsh regions are often said to be in a ‘race’ for Heineken Cup rugby; the quartet attempting to secure one of the three spots in Europe’s premier competition.

Well, if that’s the case then the Dragons and Cardiff Blues are in clown cars rather than Ferraris.

Last weekend the former lost 46-19 to Ulster and the latter went down 59-22 to Leinster. Ireland 105 points, Wales 41. Ireland 15 tries, Wales four.

Unfortunately in this race both the Dragons and Blues are playing the role of the tortoise rather than the hare.

But there is precious little hope of either the Ospreys or Scarlets having a nap before the finish line.

Both western regions look likely to challenge for the playoffs while the eastern duo look set to be squabbling with Edinburgh, Connacht, Treviso and Zebre.

Unfortunately that smug ‘west is best’ slogan on the seating at Parc y Scarlets, a gimmick that serves to emphasise the poor attendances in Welsh rugby through its visibility, is very apt at present.