You’ll have to be better than this, Pivac tells his Scarlets
SCARLETS head coach Wayne Pivac warned his men they will have to improve on their Judgement Day triumph over Newport Gwent Dragons if they are to challenge for the Guinness PRO12 title.
Both sets of players missed their opportunity to impress the Wales coaches in attendance with the game deadlocked at 6-6 until the hour mark.
Jonathan Davies finally crossed the try-line before Liam Williams put the game beyond doubt to leapfrog the Ospreys into third.
But the Dragons kept on fighting and Adam Hughes crossed after the 80 minutes to earn a losing bonus-point.
Pivac said: “We’re happy with the results, we were supporting Munster and the Blues today and those went our way. But we weren’t happy with our performance.
“We are another step closer, there are ten points left and we have another big game next week with Ospreys playing Ulster.
“We could get it sealed next week, theoretically We have to play better than we did today and the boys certainly know that.”
Angus O’Brien fired the Dragons in-front with a penalty after the Scarlets failed to release at a ruck, having missed the target with an early drop-goal.
He landed another from an almost identical position to make it 6-0, and to make things worse for the West Walians, they lost star flanker James Davies to a shoulder injury after 18 minutes.
Dan Jones got the Scarlets on the scoreboard after 27 minutes following a no-arms tackle from Rhys Buckley on Jake Ball.
British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland was in attendance and had another injury scare when Liam Williams received treatment on the field, but he recovered to carry on as the dour first period ended 6-3.
Jones levelled the scores before he exited the action, and with no outside-half replacement on the bench, wing Williams assumed kicking duties.
The game sparked into life when Jonathan Davies broke the line and sprinted clear. He found Jonathan Evans in support, but he was dragged down short by Adam Hughes.
Hughes was shown yellow for killing the ball, and Pivac’s men made their man advantage count.
The Dragons offended again moments later and the Scarlets took a quick tap penalty and worked the ball wide to Davies, who strolled over to score a much needed try.
Williams’ hit the post with the conversion but the ball crept over, before O’Brien kicked a penalty to cut the gap to 13-9 with 15 minutes remaining.
The potential Lions fullback showed Gatland he has another string to his bow when he landed a crucial penalty, before he made sure the Scarlets would leapfrog the Ospreys when he finished a well-worked backs move at the corner.
The Dragons fought until the last and bagged a losing bonus-point with the last act when Adam Hughes finished a length of the field try.
Dragons head coach Kingsley Jones said: “I’m proud of the players, they followed the game plan today, we defended well against a very good Scarlets team, we dealt with them well.”