'Best yet to come from star pair'
THEY are a double act that has already starred on the international stage, but the best is yet to come from midfield partners Jonathan Davies and Scott Williams.
That is the view of Scarlets backs coach Mark Jones as the West Walians look to keep wowing the audiences in the RaboDirect Pro12.
The all-round performance of the centre partnership was one of the standout features of last weekend's win over Glasgow at Scotstoun.
Solid defensively, both Davies and Williams looked sharp and powerful with ball in hand and both provided notable assists to all three of the Scarlets tries.
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For Davies, it was his first start since undergoing a hernia operation following his return from Australia in the summer.
As for Williams, the try-scoring hero of Wales's Triple Crown triumph at Twickenham, he has reacted positively to the emergence of Ospreys rival Ashley Beck, who won his first cap on that trip Down Under in June.
Much was made of the fact that Davies and Williams hadn't played together for the Scarlets before Warren Gatland united them during last year's World Cup in New Zealand.
The main reason for that was the presence of Kiwi playmaker Regan King, who at his peak was arguably the finest creative centre in Europe.
Williams offers the Scarlets a more physical alternative, although Jones believes the 21-year-old has already shown in the opening two rounds of the campaign that he has developed far more subtle threats to his attacking arsenal.
"Scott has started particularly well," said the former Wales wing. "He has put a lot of focus on his passing and we have seen two really good passes under pressure from him that have led to tries.
"He did blow one against Leinster when he didn't pass with men outside and by his own admission he wasn't happy with that, but at least he dodged a bullet there because we ended up scoring anyway.
"He is working hard on that aspect of his game and it is nice to see the work paying off for him because he is such a physical player. To have that passing ability in his armoury will only help his running game because defenders won't be sure of what he is going to do."
As for the partnership with Davies, Jones continued: "We haven't really had a chance to develop it, especially last season when Scott got called up by Wales for the World Cup. It meant we didn't have a chance to build the partnership during the off-season.
"But at least they were playing together with Wales and when I did have them last year I tried to keep things very simple.
"I didn't ask them to do things too complicated because they had a lot of calls going around their head with Wales. Hopefully, we can build this season now they are together a bit more and I would like to think we have not seen the best of them yet."
The Scarlets will be aiming to maintain their attacking fluency when they take on Connacht in Galway on Saturday afternoon as they also look to cement their position at the head of the Pro12 table.
Already, they have underlined their scoring potential with ten tries in two morale-lifting victories.
And with the back three having helped themselves to seven of those, Jones — as you would expect from a wing who poached a few tries himself — is pretty satisfied with the way things have started behind the scrum.
"Obviously, there are areas we are looking to improve on, but against Glasgow I thought we did a good defensive job and were very clinical when we had the chance, which was pleasing because while we have created a lot of opportunities in recent seasons, we haven't tended to nail a high percentage of them.
"When you don't make play-offs or Heineken quarters you go searching for the reasons why and there is no doubt we have been constructors of our own downfall at certain parts of certain key games.
"The players don't always get the decisions right, we don't always get it right as coaches, but I thought we got more of them right than wrong in Glasgow."