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Scarlets coach Easterby constructing plan to ambush big brother

BROTHERLY love will be shelved for one afternoon as the Easterbys, Simon and Guy, take a shot at each other in the Heineken Cup.

While Simon will be directly in Leinster's line of fire as The Scarlets head coach, Guy will take a more sheltered view as Leinster's team manager. The buck stops with one; not the other.

Scarlets coach Simon, the former Ireland flanker, does not do complicated.

He kept it simple as a player and, now, as a coach, saying: "We have to win against Leinster. It's as simple as that. You can't progress without a win in your first two games and it's still in our hands," he said.

The Heineken Cup moves from strength to strength with a record total attendance of 157,992 for round one, a 17pc increase on last season ahead of Leinster's trip to The Scarlets on Saturday afternoon.

Easterby's legendary threshold for pain was stretched to breaking point at Clermont Auvergne last Saturday when Morgan Stoddart's second sin-bin prompted a red card to turn a 13-all belter into a 49-16 belting.

"We were going very well for 37 minutes and stuck to our game-plan, even when things weren't going our way," reflected Easterby.

"I think we showed exactly what we can do with a full complement of players and that we can compete well at this kind of level against the likes of Clermont, Leinster and Exeter.

"We showed what we were about in the first 30, but the game's a lot longer than that.

"We took a bit of a beating in the end and we should have changed and adapted better. This was just one of six games and this group is still alive and we are alive in it.

"We have a short turnaround now before Leinster and that's a big game for us at home. If we can keep 15 players on the pitch next week we know we can get a result," he said.

The Scarlets got off to a blistering start to the season, reeling off three PRO12 League wins, including a bonus-point victory over Leinster, before falling in two out of three and suffering at the hands of Clermont in Europe.

The Welsh club also has an issue of inconsistency: "They've lost one, so this is a must-win game for them," judged Guy.

"This is his first head coach job and it is a fairly fickle world. He is just concentrating on getting as much right as he can on his end without getting too far ahead of himself."

Leinster coach Joe Schmidt is two years further on down the road than Simon Easterby with two European Cups to show for it. He expects better standards.

"We need to be better. We need to be more accurate, more patient. With that, hopefully, more rhythm, more continuity comes," said Guy Easterby.


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