It’s great to be back at Parc y Scarlets for another big game in our Guinness PRO14 campaign.
We needed to show a huge amount of character to come through against a very good Cheetahs side last weekend and are going to need to show similar qualities against Benetton this evening.
You can’t overstate how tough the conditions were last Saturday, so to come away with another win was a great effort. I am proud of the way the boys stuck together and ground it out at the end.
At the back end of the season when you are looking back on the points table, games like those are hugely important.
It really is a squad effort, not just the 23 who are fortunate enough to wear the jersey, but our whole squad who gets us up and ready for the game each weekend.
Benetton have picked up a couple of good wins at home over the last couple of weeks and will likely have the majority of their Italian internationals back with them which is really exciting for us. They did superbly well to reach the play-offs last season and were unfortunate to be edged out late on out in Munster in the semi-final qualifier. They are a well-coached side under Kieran Crowley and will be a tough opponent. Although I don’t know Kieran personally I have spent a week in the company of forwards coach Marco Bortolami and not only is he is a student of the game he is also a top man and it is great to welcome Kieran, Marco and their colleagues to the Parc.
We love playing at the Parc, the support we get from you guys is outstanding and we are determined to finish this block of PRO14 matches on a positive note before we turn our attention to Europe. Hopefully, the rain can stay away and we can enjoy a great evening of rugby.
Lastly, a massive “baie geluk” to Werner Kruger, who follows Steff last weekend in reaching a century of appearances for the Scarlets. Werner is a person who commands a huge amount of respect within our squad, someone who leads on and off the field and whose moral compass is always pointing due north.
He will raise his bat to a third century of games - for the Bulls Super Rugby team, Blue Bulls Currie Cup team and now the Scarlets - what a superb effort from one of the true gentlemen of the game. It is such a proud moment for Werner, Andrea, Nathan, AJ and all of their family as well as all of those players, coaches and staff who have accompanied Werner on his journey. We know you will cherish the moment when you and your family lead out the side this evening. Baie danke bru.
Enjoy the game.