herald

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Scarlets all set to fly in the face of history

Stephen Jones
Stephen Jones

Scarlets captain Ken Owens has noticed how Irish supporters of Leinster and Munster have booked their fights to Bilbao long before the Champions Cup semi-finals.

It had been reported in Welsh media earlier in the month how Ryanair had added extra flights to Santander, an hour from Bilbao, for Champions Cup finals weekend in order that supply met demand.

"We're just used to being the underdogs now," stated Owens.

"The bookies and Ryanair and everyone else have all decided to write us off.

"That's fine by us. We'll just get on with it and deliver our own performance."

This is one of those anomalies that could just appear on the dressing-room wall at The Aviva Stadium.

Understandably, centre Scott Williams has previously questioned the idea of The Aviva as a neutral venue for the semi-final.

"It is a great venue to play," said Williams.

"A neutral venue is questionable, being 100 yards down the road from the home ground.

Cherish

"We cherish those challenges. We've come out here before and we've won in front of a lot of their home fans.

"We have to believe we can make it to the final and create some history for The Scarlets.

"That is why we play rugby, for these occasions, and everyone is looking forward to it."

The Scarlets gospel was started by Pivac and spread by attack coach Stephen Jones the former Wales out-half.

"We are all like-minded. We want to attack. We want to play with the ball," said Pivac about the collective coaching ticket.

The questions lingers: who is the genius behind the game-plan?

"Stephen is obviously running the attack and he's doing a fantastic job.

"I liken him to a rugby computer on shoulders really," issued the New Zealander.

"He sees the game. He knows what he wants out of the players.

"His attention to detail, his work ethic and his enthusiasm just rubs off on everybody.

"He has been a great asset since coming back to the club."

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