Friday, 4 October 2013

Scarlets set for big home battle with leaders Glasgow Warriors

The Scarlets will be looking to back up their win against Edinburgh with another strong performance against the Scots as they host league leaders Glasgow at Parc y Scarlets on Saturday evening.

Securing a vital four points away from home last weekend in Murrayfield showed the character and spirit of a Scarlets side that’s also intent on improving home form starting with a big contest against an in-form Glasgow team that has a 100% record so far this season.

The Scarlets have won their last five matches against Scottish opponents. Glasgow Warriors have made a 100 per cent winning start to the 2013/14 season and have won their last six regular season encounters in the tournament. The Warriors only loss to a Welsh Region in their last eight such encounters was to Scarlets in this equivalent fixture last season. 

The Scarlets have lost only once to the Warriors in their last six meetings: 9-19 at Firhill in February 2012.
Scarlets Head Coach Simon Easterby said:  “What was pleasing last weekend was to see the training transfer and clarity on how we wanted to play the game coming through our performance.

“We were probably a little disappointed not to come away with another try last weekend but the four points was vital and the way we went about getting that win was impressive after the disappointment of the derby night.

“We had a reaction from the players last week and we need to build on what we achieved in Edinburgh; going away and getting a result in this competition is good but we also have to improve our home form.  Building home success is crucial for us this season.

“We have to feel confident and happy that we can play the type of rugby we want to, but winning rugby as well and ensure we don’t make the mistakes we did against Leinster when we just lost our composure and our way which allowed them back into the game.”

Easterby said that his players were committed to replicating the performance that secured victory for the Scarlets last time Glasgow came to West Wales.

He said: “Glasgow have been very impressive, they were strong at the end of last season and have kicked off in the same vein.  They were a top two side last year in the way they were playing and beating them at home for us at the end of the season was massive – we didn’t allow them to get into their game and we will need to replicate that type of performance.

“They will come down with lots of confidence.  If there is any momentum swing away from us, it’s important we stick to our principals and keep our heads. We have to show balance and the ability to understand when we can play a certain way and how to manage a game well.”

Easterby has given Scarlets Lions star Jon Davies the captaincy for his second game and paid tribute to both the Scarlets centre and co-captain Rob McCusker for their input this season.

Easterby said: “Jon and Rob are working well together and it’s positive to have the ability to change leadership on the field over a long season of rugby.

“Jon was excellent throughout last weekend in Murrayfield, he has respect and credibility as a player and leader and was full of energy and we had very positive feedback from his work with the referee as a result. Rob (McCusker) was able to focus more on his own performance and as a result he had one of the best games I’ve seen for a long time in the eight position.

Simon Easterby said they were expecting their new signing, New Zealand back-three player Frazier Climo to arrive at the end of October; bringing in some added experience at a time when a number of the Scarlets back line players will be leaving regional duty to join Wales.

Scarlets Team v Glasgow; Saturday 5th October 2013 kick off at 6.30pm at Parc y Scarlets ; 15 Liam Williams; 14 Nick Reynolds; 13 Jonathan Davies (capt); 12 Gareth Maule; 11 Jordan Williams; 10 Rhys Priestland; 9 Rhodri Williams; 1 Phil John; 2 Ken Owens; 3 Jacobie Adriaanse; 4 George Earle; 5 Joe Snyman; 6 Josh Turnbull; 7 John Barclay; 8 Rob McCusker.

Replacements: Emyr Phillips, Rob Evans, Rhodri Jones, Jake Ball, Aaron Shingler, Aled Davies, Steve Shingler, Adam Warren.

Players not available for selection: Kristian Phillips, wing (fractured hand), Samson Lee, prop (hip strain) Gareth Davies, scrum half (calf strain), Gareth Owen, full back (knee sprain), Deacon Manu, Prop (fractured arm), Scott Williams, centre, (knee strain), Richard Kelly (hamstring strain).


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