Guinness PRO12: Jake Ball wants full-throttle Scarlets performance
Welsh region need to deliver for 80 minutes if they are to retain their status among European rugby's elite
Jake Ball wants his Scarlets colleagues to put together an 80-minute performance as they look to keep alive their chances of European Champtions Cup qualification.
The West Walians take on Newport Gwent Dragons this afternoon in the second of the Judgement Day III clashes at the Millennium Stadium knowing they must win after Edinburgh hammered Zebre 37-0 on Friday to go sixth in the Guinness PRO12.
I’d love to see us playing 80 minutes with the foot on the pedal.
With just three rounds left of the regular season, the Wales lock knows that bonus-point wins could be crucial with the Scarlets, Edinburgh and Connacht all in contention to secure the final automatic Champions Cup place.
And Ball admits that the Scarlets have to put in more full-throttle performances if they are to maintain their place among Europe’s elite.
“We’ve shown glimpses of us playing good rugby and then we’ve taken our foot off the pedal,” Ball said.
“I’d love to see us playing 80 minutes with the foot on the pedal.
“In my first year here we got into the [PRO12] semi-final and it was a great experience – we’d like to get back to there again.
“Three wins puts us in a reasonable position, but bonus points play big part as well.”
There will be another big incentive for the Scarlets to deliver this weekend with a record crowd in excess of 50,000 expected at the home of Welsh rugby, which could also set a new PRO12 record.
Any chance to step on the Millennium Stadium pitch you cherish – you never know when it’ll be your last time.
Ball, who made his Wales debut at the Millennium Stadium during the 2014 RBS 6 Nations, and a number of his regional team-mates are no stranger to playing in front of big crowds.
And the forward believes that it is a fantastic opportunity for Welsh players to showcase their talents ahead of the Rugby World Cup in front of supporters from across Wales and beyond, while Wales head coach Warren Gatland is also expected to be in attendance.
“It’s a great opportunity,” he added.
“Any chance to step on the Millennium Stadium pitch you cherish – you never know when it’ll be your last time.
“It’s also a big opportunity for us to put our hands up in front of a different set of fans.”