Ulster chief fears red faces from champions Scarlets
Relieved and concerned Ulster Rugby coach Les Kiss has cautioned that his side have plenty of work to do this week before welcoming the Guinness PRO14 League champion Scarlets to Kingspan Stadium on Friday night (7.35pm kick-off).
The implication, quite simply, is that Ulster will be staring defeat in the face if they play as poorly as they did in scraping home 21-14 winners against Treviso in Italy on Saturday.
The province boast a two from two record to start to the PRO14 but narrowly avoided embarrassment in Treviso on Saturday night with the Italian strugglers almost snatching a dramatic last gasp draw despite having at one point trailed 21-0.
And Kiss was stark in his assessment of the performance, as well as the task that lies ahead in round three.
“We’re disappointed in a couple of areas,” he complained despite bringing four points back from northern Italy.
“Our skill and the structures that we’re trying to build failed us at times. We know that so we know what the solutions we have to work towards and build those skill sets.
“Scarlets will rightly be favourites and we need to improve on what we did against Treviso, if we’re going to put something up against them. It’ll be tough to say the least.
“They’re champions, they’re in a good vein of form and they’ve continued on from last year.”
Ulster will at least expect to bring Charles Piutau and Marcell Coetzee back into the side to meet Scarlets who have picked up right where they left off after last season’s title, running riot against both the Kings and Zebre to open their campaign with maximum points from two games.