Sport Rugby

Sunday 19 August 2018

We don't want to be known as a one-season wonder - Pivac

Wayne Pivac. Photo: James Crombie/INPHO
Wayne Pivac. Photo: James Crombie/INPHO
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Wayne Pivac has called on his Scarlets side to prove that winning the Guinness PRO12 last season was not a once-off as they look to topple Leinster in tomorrow's decider (6.0).

The defending champions were ruthless in disposing of Glasgow last week, and they pose a real threat to Leinster's hopes of clinching an historic double.

The Scarlets' last visit to the Aviva Stadium didn't quite go according to plan however, as they were hammered by Leinster in the Champions Cup semi-final last month.

"We've certainly looked at that game and were obviously very disappointed at the time in the sense that we didn't really fire too many shots," Pivac admitted.

"We need to make sure that we are a lot more physical than we were and that we bring a lot more intention to go forward both in defence and be a lot more physical in attack and the breakdown.

"We feel like we're building nicely and have room to improve and that's a good space to be in.

Arrival

"It's definitely what we've been aiming for since day one from my arrival here, to build something that could go on for a long time.

"We don't really want to be a one-season wonder and I think we're seeing that with the growth of the side over the last two seasons.

"To get to this final and semi-finals in Europe is progression from last year and we'd like to build on that again next year."

While confidence is high in the Scarlets camp, Pivac isn't underestimating the scale of the task that lies ahead for his side.

"For anyone to go through their (European) pool, let's not forget you've got to play home and away against the best sides, to go through that unbeaten and then to win the quarter-final against Saracens, who are such a strong side with such pedigree and history, and then to put us away the way they did," the Kiwi said.

Read more: Strength in numbers the key to Leinster's final push

"And then in poor conditions to manage that (final) game and come out on top when it really mattered at the end, they thoroughly deserved it and they're setting the benchmark at the moment."

The Scarlets' preparations have been hampered all week by burn injuries from Glasgow's 4G pitch but they won't look to use that as an excuse ahead of the biggest game of their season.

"We have a lot of self-belief and I think that's evident in the way we've come back since the disappointment of the semi-final," Pivac added.

"To win this title and back up last year's title, and to play the European champions is really what you want. If you're going to win it, you've got to beat the best."

Irish Independent

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