Planet Rugby

Preview: Scarlets v Ospreys

01st October 2010 12:52

Share:

SKY_MOBILE Mike Phillips Ospreys

Mike Phillips: At scrum-half for Ospreys

The Scarlets are without the services of centre Jon Davies for their Magners League clash against local rivals Ospreys on Saturday.

With both sides looking to build momentum and with Europe's opening games on the horizon in a week's time, this traditionally high octane fixture has all the ingredients for a classic encounter that is as much about pride as points.

Davies (ankle sprain) and hooker Ken Owens (arm) have both been ruled out. Opportunities are handed to the skilful and talented centre Gareth Maule and the star of last year's Heineken Cup victory over London Irish, full-back Daniel Evans. Both backs will be eager to impress in the Scarlets shirt at one of the top billing games of the region's home season.

With plenty of experience for the big occasion to found across the field with the likes of international class players Stephen Jones, Matthew Rees, David Lyons, Sean Lamont, Iestyn Thomas and Deacon Manu, the Scarlets will be looking build on this season's positive league form which has secured them three consecutive wins.

Head Coach Nigel Davies: "This game will be about who turns up hungrier on the day, the form leading up to it doesn't always count for much - it will probably rest on a couple of key moments, who gets them right and who takes their chances. It's going to be a tough match, it's a massive game in its own right and both teams understand that."

"It's one of the big games people want to come and watch and rightly so - the intensity it generates, the rivalry is huge and the respect is there between the two sides. These games always have an extra edge.

"Jon has been in great form and while it's disappointing that he and Ken Owens haven't quite made the fitness race, it's important we don't push them and that they recover properly for some big matches ahead of us in October.

"We have always been comfortable to push forward our talent and give players exposure to the big games. Gareth Maule, Dan Evans and Scott Williams are three Scarlets who will relish taking their opportunities in this derby and have a lot to offer.

"Gareth has been going really well in training, he's really stepped up this season and has shown his qualities when he's come on. Dan Evans has plenty of skill and experience of the big games at full-back and Scott is a powerful player, in a similar mould to Jon Davies and we've seen what he can do both in his games for the Premiership and with Wales U20's."

Meanwhile, Tom Smith, Sonny Parker and Ian Evans, among others, are all out with injury for Ospreys.

Head coach Sean Holley commented: "It should be a great game. We've been building week on week, reintegrating the players that have been on a delayed pre-season, and we are starting to get back up to strength in terms of players returning.

"It's a difficult challenge, getting everybody back into the team, getting them game time and making allowances for individual conditioning programmes, but it's something that we used to and history over the last few seasons suggests that we've got it right. It's a challenge that we want to have, it means that we are continuing to contribute players to the various national teams.

"As a squad we need to step up several notches now from where we were last weekend. The Scarlets have had a good start to the season and enjoyed a convincing win over the Dragons last week so they will no doubt be full of confidence as they welcome us to their place for such a big derby game.

"There is always a buzz about the place, an extra spice, when we play the Scarlets. Everybody knows how much it means to the supporters to get this win against our local rivals, and we want to give them that win. You've got to enjoy the rivalry, savour it and make sure you enjoy the occasion. There'll be a big crowd present including a lot of our fans who will make the short trip over the bridge hoping to get one over their closest rivals, but we have to be professional about it and realise that it is just another step towards where we want to be.

"We've enjoyed a good run in this fixture in recent seasons and we want to keep that going, but we won't lose sight of the bigger picture, and what lies ahead of us in the coming weeks."

Form: Ospreys have won their last four games against Scarlets and have a played 2, won 2 record at the new Parc y Scarlets stadium. Scarlets have won their last three games in the Magners League, but have not won four in a row in the competition since season 2006/07. Scarlets have lost their last three matches against fellow Welsh regions at Parc y Scarlets. Ospreys' four games so far have all been won by the home side on the day. Ospreys only win in their last four visits to fellow Welsh teams was 21-14 in this equivalent fixture last season.

The teams:

Scarlets: 15 Daniel Evans, 14 George North, 13, Regan King, 12 Gareth Maule, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Stephen Jones, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 David Lyons, 7 Johnathan Edwards, 6 Josh Turnbull, 5 Dominic Day, 4 Lou Reed, 3 Deacon Manu, 2 Matthew Rees (capt), 1 Iestyn Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Emyr Phillips, 17 Phil John, 18 Rhys Thomas, 19 Jonny Fa'amatuainu, 20 Rob McCusker, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Scott Williams, Rhys Priestland.

Ospreys: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 Richard Fussell, 13 Tommy Bowe, 12 Andrew Bishop, 11 Shane Williams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Jonathan Thomas, 7 Marty Holah, 6 Jerry Collins, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (capt), 4 Ian Gough, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Paul James
Replacements: 16 Huw Bennett, 17 Ryan Bevington, 18 Craig Mitchell, 19 Ryan Jones, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Jamie Nutbrown, 22 James Hook, 23 Nikki Walker.

Date: Saturday, October 2
Venue: Parc y Scarlets
Kick-off: 20:10 BST (19:10 GMT)
Referee: Nigel Owens

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs Exeter19:45
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs Zebre19:30
Cardiff Blues vs Ulster19:35
Connacht vs Leinster19:35
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs Edinburgh16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs Toulon18:00
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse18:00
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:00
Castres vs Oyonnax18:00
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:00
Montpellier vs Stade Francais18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs Pumas19:10
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Thursday , September 18
Northland vs TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Preview
Friday , September 19
Counties Manukau vs Canterbury19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Benetton Treviso 10 - 21 MunsterBenetton Treviso vs Munster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26