Rekindle the fire, Danny Wilson tells Scarlets
THE Scarlets go into battle with the Dragons tomorrow with forwards coach Danny Wilson urging his pack to rekindle the fire that was missing in their derby defeat by the Ospreys.
Two weeks on from that first setback of the season, the West Wales region are back on home soil determined to prove a few points.
Wilson admitted the Ospreys’ desire was the difference between the sides in the 23-16 home loss.
And he has revealed that the players are in no mood for a Parc y Scarlets repeat.
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“The players and the staff feel we didn’t deliver in the last derby against the Ospreys in front of a packed house,” he said. “As a minimum, we expect a performance and an attitude that I know those players are hungry to bring.
“There is a demand from those guys in training and they are running that themselves.
“They were hurting from the Ospreys game and I know they will be keen to put that right against the Dragons.
“From a forwards point of view we didn’t turn up against the Ospreys. We probably went into that game confident after three pretty good performances and maybe slightly complacent.
“The Ospreys weren’t in the same place and maybe we didn’t anticipate quite how hungry they would be.
“They came with a ferocity at the contact area and at the scrum. We didn’t deal with that very well and they came away with a result and a deserved result.”
Wilson was happier with his forwards’ display in the last-gasp 22-20 defeat in Treviso last Saturday, despite the Scarlets being on the back foot for long periods in the second half.
“As a forward pack we demanded a response going to Treviso and in all honesty I felt we got that response,” he added.
“The forwards turned up physically, we were hungrier and far more physical at the breakdown and in our attacking and defensive game.
“Our scrum was much improved from the week before. There were a couple of ropey ones in the first half, but in the second half we became dominant.
“I thought the forwards delivered what we asked of them and they turned up and gave a better performance, still not necessarily where we want it, but a better performance from the Ospreys game.”
Wilson will be coming up against the side he left in the summer after two years at Rodney Parade.
However, he doesn’t feel that will have any sort of bearing on what promises to be another high-intensity regional scrap.
“It works both ways. The Dragons staff and players will know how I do things and if there are similarities they will be looking for those. Likewise, I probably know quite a bit of how the Dragons would like to play and where their strengths and possible weaknesses will be,” added Wilson.
“But it is a derby and we have seen before in derbies, a lot of the prep comes down to who wants it the most and that hunger and passion on the day, something we didn’t deliver against the Ospreys and something we need to deliver against the Dragons.”