Belfast Telegraph

Scarlets face tough run-in to sustain play-off dream

Somehow, the events of six weeks ago were bound to have cropped up as the Scarlets went about their work this week.

Back then they looked to have done enough to sneak an important league win in terrible conditions at Parc y Scarlets. But then replacement flanker Johnathan Edwards was pinged and up stepped Ruan Pienaar, and with a long range last kick of the game . . . well you know the rest.

The manner of the 18-16 defeat was particularly painful for coach Nigel Davies and his squad, but it was also a highly damaging evening as the result saw Scarlets fall to a sixth consecutive defeat in all competitions.

Since then their bid to stay in the running for the league play-offs — the Scarlets are currently sixth on 50 points and level with Cardiff Blues, with crucially just five points separating the teams now positioned from second to where the Scarlets’ are located — has just about stayed on track.

Davies has spoken of the Ulster game as being essentially a cup final and with only four games remaining his assessment is hard to argue with. What makes their task even more formidable is that three of those outings are against play-off rivals with, after Ulster, home games against Munster and then Glasgow, on what could prove a vital clash on the last day at Parc y Scarlets with the Blues.

Belfast Telegraph

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