Scarlets look to heed lessons of Edinburgh loss as they set sights on Kings

Rob Lloyd News

Ioan Cunningham says the Scarlets have heeded the lessons of their narrow defeat to Edinburgh as they look to put their Guinness PRO14 challenge back on track against Southern Kings at Parc y Scarlets on Sunday (5.15pm).

In atrocious conditions, Scarlets enjoyed 65% of territory against the Scots, but weren’t able to transfer that onto the scoreboard in what proved a frustrating afternoon in the wind and rain.

“We have got to give credit to Edinburgh, I thought they defended really well. We had a lot of territory and possession and we have learned a lot from that match – how to finish close to the tryline and being clinical in those areas, little details which we have put right this week and we’re looking forward to getting on the field on Sunday to make those changes,” said the Scarlets forwards coach.

“I thought we managed the kicking game well which gave us the territory; the learning is being clinical in those areas.”

Looking ahead to the challenge of the Kings, Cunningham said: “We have done a lot of work looking at them and they are a tough side, they bring a lot of physicality, but they also have a lot of variation in their play. Their coaches are smart with different ploys and if you give them a sniff they will take advantage. They have athletes who can cause damage if you give them time and space.

“We have to make sure our kicking game and kick chase is right and we have to hold on to the ball for long phases and be accurate with it.”

Going into round 12 of 21, Scarlets sit third in the Conference B standings.

Cunningham added: “You look at the table and we are still very much in the hunt. The next two games are crucial, the Kings on Sunday and then Munster away, which is always a tough encounter. That will set us up for where we need to go.”

Scarlets are hoping that Wales international prop Samson Lee will be fit to feature in the match-day 23 after missing the Edinburgh game with a calf niggle.

Fly-half Rhys Patchell and flanker James Davies are also progressing in their recovery from injury.