‘Opening games critical’ – Pivac

Date published: July 13 2016

Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac stated that the beginning the season could decide’s his team’s fate following the announcement of the PRO12’s fixtures.

Scarlets first play Munster, then play Edinburgh away, Ulster at home and then title-holders, Connacht.

“As every team knows it is critical to get off to a good start. It’s great for us to have a home game first up and last up! Munster were our last opposition at the end of last season, so we know a lot about them. The first month is critical to the rest of the season,” Pivac told theĀ Scarlets official website.

“We finish the opening block before the first rounds of Europe with a Welsh derby against Dragons at home before going straight into Cardiff Blues away after the Champions Cup. If Europe doesn’t toughen us up for a big derby nothing will.”

“Blues were a major part of why we didn’t make the top four last year so we will want to improve on our performances against them this season.”

Competition organisers have created six ‘Big Weekends’ throughout the competition that involve intra-union derbies.

“The final game of the regular season will be a big crunch match depending on how teams have performed during the season. They’re great games whatever time of the season we face each other with a lot of tradition and rivalry,” said Pivac.

“Throw into the mix the fact that it’s the last game of the season and it’s a thrilling encounter. If the last two seasons are anything to go by we’ve still had it all to play for in the last round. We’re expecting it to be a tight campaign yet again.”