Scarlets coach Simon Easterby: Time for us to right wrongs
THE Scarlets forwards have been challenged to put right the wrongs of their Ospreys buffeting ahead of what promises to be another testing physical encounter in Treviso on Saturday.
After an encouraging start to the season, Friday night’s derby defeat provided a sobering setback for Rob McCusker and his pack as they found themselves out-scrummaged and out-muscled by a dominant Ospreys eight.
The manner of the 23-16 loss has prompted further questions as to whether the West Walians possess the armoury to take on the heavyweights of European rugby.
But as his side look to hold onto their position at the top of the RaboDirect Pro12 standings this weekend, head coach Simon Easterby insists the issue against the Ospreys was more a technical one than that of personnel.
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“We would be disappointed to a man how we dealt with the Ospreys. We clearly weren’t good enough on Friday night and the players have all accepted that,” said Easterby.
“We now have a chance to move on and put some of those wrongs right.
“Treviso have scored four tries this season, two from line-out tries and two from No. 8 pick-ups.
“They have the ability to confront you through the forwards and I think they will look at last Friday’s game and see a chink in our armour.”
The Scarlets have been working hard this season on delivering a platform for their stellar back division and have opted for extra scrummaging sessions this week under the guidance of forwards coach Danny Wilson.
“It is something we have been focusing on quite heavily in training,” added Easterby. “We have been working particularly hard in rectifying some of the mistakes we made against the Ospreys.
“Hopefully, we have seen the errors we made and we can turn that around against Treviso.
“Danny has been breaking it down technically — feet positions, timing of the hits, our profile — there are lots of things involved. The players have seen that when we get it right, it can be much more effective.
“The technical side of things will hopefully outweigh the weight issues we will have when we come up against the heavier packs and when you move into Europe.”
Wales Under-20s tight-head Samson Lee could come in for only his second regional start at the Stadio Monigo and Easterby believes the 19-year-old is already emerging as a player of huge potential.
“Samson has come on leaps and bounds, he is a different player to Deacon (Manu) and gets into different positions,” he added. “Deacon, by his own admission, was frustrated in how he played and disappointed in his own performance.
“But we have only got four or five fit and available props at the moment so we have got to work with what we have got.
“In the next month we will have reinforcements in the form of Jacobie (Adriaanse) coming in, Rob Evans will be fit in November and Rhodri (Jones) in early December.
“You can only work with what you have got and hopefully we can improve on what we’ve got.”