Champs Scarlets brace for 'big' task
PRO14 SPOTLIGHT: After a 41-10 victory in Parma over Zebre, defending champions Scarlets will face a tough assignment away from home against Ulster.
After a thrilling eight try victory over Southern Kings in the opening round under clear skies at Parc y Scarlets the West Walians tested themselves in wet and slippery conditions in Northern Italy as the campaign took the region away from the comfort of home.
Torrential downpours and thunderous conditions made for a tight opening forty with Zebre showing plenty of determination and endeavour on home soil.
Last weekend's man of the match Johnny Mcnicholl raced in for Scarlets' opening try of the evening, what would also be the only try of the first half as a second Scarlets try was disallowed.
With the weather improving and the Scarlets settling into the skilful patterns that we've become accustomed to seeing pressure was put on the home side as they failed to halt a further four attacks at their try line. Steff Evans, Paul Asquith, Tadhg Beirne and Aled Davies crossed the whitewash securing another bonus point for the region.
Speaking after the game head coach Wayne Pivac said: "It was difficult out there in the first half. The rain was steady, we made a few mistakes and didn't play the kicking game that we really wanted to but we addressed that at half time.
"We were a lot more clinical and a lot more patient in the second half, not trying to play too much rugby in our own half. We were disappointed that we let one try in but to get a bonus point in the conditions was very satisfying,"
In stark contrast to last season the Scarlets are two from two with a try bonus from both rounds claiming the maximum ten points on offer.
Pivac went on to say; "We haven't hit our top performance levels yet but we wouldn't expect it. We were on zero points after three rounds last year so we're in a much better position and very happy to be there,"
It does not get easier as the champions Scarlets will face another challenge away from home on Friday as they head to the Kingspan Stadium to take on Ulster.
"It's a great place to go with a fantastic crowd and they sell it out but it's not an easy place to go.
"We're going to really look forward to that opportunity next Friday but we know it's going to be a big challenge,"