We owe the Scarlets fans a performance
THE Scarlets take on the Dragons in Llanelli on Friday night (7.05pm) with coaches and players declaring: "We owe the fans a performance."
Back-to-back defeats against the Ospreys and Treviso have taken the gloss of an impressive start to the season for the West Wales region.
And with the Heineken Cup kick-off looming large, the Scarlets are determined to return to winning ways in front of another vocal derby crowd.
"It is a derby and as you have seen before in derbies, a lot of the prep comes down to who wants it the most and the hunger and passion on the day, something we didn't deliver against the Ospreys and something we need to deliver against the Dragons," said forwards coach Danny Wilson.
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"We didn't turn up against the Ospreys from a forwards point of view. 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.
"As a forward pack we demanded a response going to Treviso and in all honesty, I felt we got that response.
"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 second half we became dominant.
"I thought the forwards delivered what we asked of them and they turned up and gave a better performance. It was still not necessarily where we want it, but it was a better performance from the Ospreys game."
The last-gasp 22-20 defeat at the Stadio Monigo has seen the Scarlets slip to second in the RaboDirect Pro12 table.
And Wilson admits victory against his former side is a must ahead of a daunting trip to take on a star-studded Clermont Auvergne in the opening round of Europe.
"It is crucial. A derby game at home is about winning, especially with the passionate support we have here at the Scarlets," he added.
"The players and the staff feel we didn't deliver in the last derby against the Ospreys in front of a packed house. 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, 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."
Wilson's words were echoed by wing Andy Fenby: "We were frustrated after the Ospreys game, we didn't hit the level required.," he said.
"It was a great crowd for that game and we all feel we owe the fans."
The match could see the return of Wales international Morgan Stoddart, who hasn't played since breaking his leg playing in a World Cup warm-up against England in August 2011.