RaboDirect Pro12: Rhys Priestland wants Scarlets to show more consistency

RaboDirect Pro12: Rhys Priestland wants Scarlets to show more consistency in their pursuit of top six

By Gareth Llewellyn
Scarlets and Wales star Rhys Priestland Photo: National Assembly for Wales

Rhys Priestland is targeting more consistency as the Scarlets look to cement their place in the RaboDirect Pro12 top six.

The west Walians finished in the top four last season, but have been inconsistent this season and with three rounds to go Simon Easterby’s side have only European qualification to play for.

The Scarlets have won their last three home matches, including a famous win against Munster, but face three regional derbies in their final three matches starting with Sunday’s clash at the Millennium Stadium as part of the Judgement Day double header.

We want to make sure we are up there and with three derby games to finish off we want to cement that place in the top six

Rhys Priestland

“All we can aim for is to finish in the top six and a win on Sunday will go a long way to achieving that,” Priestland said.

A solution to the European rugby impasse has finally arrived and the Llanelli-based side occupy the final qualification spot for the new Rugby Champions Cup, but the Welsh outside-half is aware that clubs below them are targeting them.

“It can only be a good thing,” he added. “When you have sides competing now not just for the top four but the top six that is only going to improve the league.

“Squads are getting stronger and the league is getting harder every year, this is only going to accelerate that level of toughness within the league.

“That top six has to be the bare minimum for us. We want to make sure we are up there and with three derby games to finish off we want to cement that place in the top six.”

The Parc y Scarlets has witnessed an inconsistent Scarlets side come away with narrow wins against Connacht and Zebre in their last two league outings and Priestland hopes the sense of occasion will lift his colleagues against Cardiff Blues this weekend.

“We have been frustrated in our last two games, we have created opportunities, but lapses in concentration has cost us,” he said.

“There is nothing like a regional derby, especially at the Millennium Stadium to make sure you are on the top of your game.

“Hopefully we can go up a few levels on Sunday because we will have to against a resurgent Blues.

“It will nice to have a bit of a feel-good finish. We have been inconsistent this year, we had a couple of good days in Europe, but then we produced some inconsistent performances in the league.

“If we can finish with three victories it will be a good way to finish the season. I just want to finish the season on a high with the Scarlets.”

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