Hadleigh Parkes insists the Scarlets are ready to embrace the pressure of ‘knockout’ rugby as they prepare for Saturday’s crucial Guinness PRO14 clash with play-off rivals Edinburgh at Parc y Scarlets.
Wayne Pivac’s side sit fifth in the Conference B standings, two points behind this weekend’s visitors.
With only three rounds of the regular season remaining, every point is vital in a five-team battle for a top-three place.
And Wales centre Parkes, one of the stars of Wales’ Grand Slam campaign, says the Scarlets are determined to deliver a big performance in front of their home crowd.
“Sometimes it’s nice to have your back up against the wall and have a bit of pressure on. Diamonds are built under pressure,” he said.
“We still have confidence. Sometimes results like the one against the Blues happen, unfortunately it has happened a little bit more for us this season than in previous years, but Saturday is another chance for us to go up against a good Edinburgh side and put in a performance that our fans can be proud of and we can be proud of.”
After Saturday’s clash the Scarlets host Zebre in Llanelli then head to Cardiff to face the Dragons in the opening match of Judgement Day VII.
Edinburgh have second-placed Ulster and Glasgow to come after the Scarlets; Ulster face a tough run-in (Glasgow away, Edinburgh away and Leinster home), while surprise package Benetton take on European semi-finalists Leinster in Dublin this weekend, Munster in Treviso, then finish off with an Italian derby against Zebre.
“Benetton have added a whole new dimension this season and it is great to see them playing well,” added Parkes.
“As I said, there is a bit of pressure on us, but we have got to embrace that pressure and hopefully we will come out on the right side of the ledger.
“Edinburgh are just two points ahead of us so you would think whoever wins this game will be in a pretty good position to go on to make the quarter-finals.”