The Scarlets suffered back-to-back defeats in South Africa when they were beaten 52-7 by an impressive Stormers in Stellenbosch.
After that match, head coach Dwayne Peel spoke to the media, here’s what he had to say.
Dwayne’s what your initial reaction to the defeat?
“We were out-muscled, it was as simple as that. We were in the game for the first 15 to 20 minutes but errors cost us and we were punished through their power. Physically we just weren’t at the races and we just couldn’t hold on.”
Two heavy losses from your two opening matches, what can you take from this trip?
DP: “We are obviously disappointed, we have had two heavy defeats, but the learnings we have to take is that a lot of the guys are having their first tour here and they will understand the level of physicality and application required at the top end of the game, that is what we spoke about after the game. It has got to become an obsession to get better and a few of the boys will have had their eyes opened. As much as you can talk about it, it shocks you. We have to improve in that respect and those guys will hopefully take that learning. Hopefully that is a motivation to drive to get better.”
There is short-term pain, but in the long term do you think it will stand you in good stead?
DP: “We keep saying it all the time, when you come to Africa and play against these teams, you have to be prepared to match them with that intensity and physicality, that is the learning we have to take. If the young players are able to do that and want to do that, that is the positive we will get from this. It was a pretty sombre changing room afterwards, but the honest truth is we weren’t good enough. Yes we can talk about physicality, but we also coughed up ball, we were loose with the ball, we did have poor tackle entry and they scored tries, they put us under pressure at scrum-time and got a lot of yardage from that. You have to put in an 80-minute performance. They are a good side and what they have is depth and power and you have to match that.”
What was your view on the tackle on Joe Roberts in the opening minutes that looked high?
DP: “I think it should have been looked at. We talk about player welfare and it was a clear headshot. We had the TV feed (in the coaches box) and it was clear and obvious. We will question it when we get an opportunity to speak to URC. The reality is, it is at least a penalty, perhaps more.”
How important is it to bounce straight back against Cardiff next week?
DP: “We get back tomorrow evening, recover on Monday and are back into work on Tuesday. We have got to be disappointed with the results, but now we get a chance to play in front of our fans, we have a big week ahead of us and I am looking forward to getting stuck into it. It was always going to be a tough start, especially coming over here and missing a few players. We will lick our wounds, make sure we recover well and be ready to go on Tuesday.”