'Kicking is not good enough'
THE Scarlets may be the league's top try-scorers, but for head coach Simon Easterby, the latest kicking stats don't make for pleasant reading.
In the opening four rounds of the RaboDirect Pro12, an astounding 41 points have been missed by the Scarlets' goal-kickers.
And it is an issue that is raising concerns.
Wales fly-half Rhys Priestland has struggled more than most and after four matches is currently joint bottom in the race for the league's golden boot award with a success rate of just 36.36 per cent.
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In contrast, Munster's Ian Keatley boasts 13 kicks from 14 (92.86 per cent) and Leinster's Ian Madigan 11 from 12 (91.67 per cent).
Priestland has landed just eight kicks from 22, missing nine penalties and five conversions and with four three-pointers having gone astray in the 23-16 defeat to the Ospreys last weekend, Easterby has admitted if the kicking woes continue, it could cost his side this season.
"It is not good enough at the moment," he said.
"Rhys is obviously disappointed with his return. He is striking the ball well in training, but has not got the return we would have hoped for in the matches.
"We need to make sure we improve that.
"Tight games like last Friday night could come down to a couple of scores.
"A good-level kicker is 80 per cent plus and we are clearly not near that at the moment and that needs to improve sooner rather than later.
"We have discussed this in detail, but it needs to be a discussion between coaches and individuals and that is where it will stay at the moment."