How has your season gone so far overall?
Llanelli are currently 5th in the Pro12, W 7 L 4 PF 231 PA 193 TF 28 TA 20 TBP 4 LBP 0
JG: We had a really slow start to the season with 3 losses and I know a lot of Scarlets fans (myself included) had a bit of a panic about it, but the squad have now settled and gelled and with 7 league wins on the trot (up to the Ospreys game), we’re at the right end of the table and are hopefully on track for at least a top 6 finish again this year. There are still some things that need working on (aimless kicking drives me bonkers and I know I’m not alone there) but we’ve definitely seen an improvement as the weeks have gone by.
SW: Good. We have played some lovely stuff. Beating you at CAP and Toulon at home were the highlights. Will Boyde has been magnificent. What a player. Jonny Evs has been marvellous as have Hadleigh, Scott and Shings. Fair play to Pivac – I wasn’t convinced but he has got us playing some good stuff and the young players are developing really well.
What has been the high point?
JG: Beating Toulon! I know we were lucky with Halfpenny missing his final kick, but our first-half performance in that match was the best I’ve seen in a long time from us and so I think we deserved the win based on that alone.
SW: High point – being on the terrace at the AP. The atmosphere was magnificent. No one makes a din like travelling Turks. (Don’t remind me, Ed.)
And the low point?
JG: Losing to the Ospreys (again). Silly yellow cards, and you can’t expect to beat them when you’ve got to play with 14 men for 50 minutes. Also the first game of the season against Munster at home, which we should have won. I’m hoping that one doesn’t come back to haunt us at the end of the season.
SW: Low point – Edinburgh away. A ramshackle nonsense of a performance.
Who have been your standout player(s)?
JG: Will Boyde. Wyn Jones has played really well too but Will Boyde, Will Boyde, Will Boyde. He’s only 22 and has been absolutely brilliant (apart from his yellow card against the Ospreys, but I forgive you, Will!) He’s really taken his chances when he’s been given the opportunity to play and I think Cubby will have a bit of a job getting the number 7 shirt back off him, which is a nice situation for us to be in! Will Boyde is definitely my new favourite Scarlets player!
SW: Will Boyde – honestly – what a player. So physical. And he keeps getting better.
What did you make of our game earlier this year?
Llanelli won 15-26 at CAP in October: https://cardiffbluesblog.com/2016/10/30/cardiff-15-26-llanelli/
JG: Am I allowed to mention the referee?! I thought we scored some cracking tries and I expected the game to be a lot closer, especially as you had so many ex-Scarlets in your team ;). Obviously I’m really happy that we won and I thought it was nice revenge for when you beat us at Parc y Scarlets last season!
SW: We were fantastic – as was Blaine Scully’s diving finish. The young lads stood up in the face of more experienced opponents.
What are your thoughts on Cardiff Blues this season?
JG: I think you’ve gone in the opposite direction to us – you started well and won your first 4 league matches but then have had several losses since then. Danny Wilson is a great coach (I think I speak for all Scarlets fans when I say that we were gutted when he left us as he did a fantastic job with our forwards) and your new recruits look good, particularly Lee-Lo and Halaholo (not to mention those ex-Scarlets now wearing blue!) Injuries obviously haven’t helped you (and at the Scarlets we’ve most definitely been there, done that) and with a fully-fit squad you could be higher up in the league than you are. I think you’re a work-in-progress under Wilson and if not this season, then maybe next season will be a good one for you. But hopefully not as good as ours!
SW: You look like you are 3 players short of a being a quality side. You need a quality second-row, scrum-half and full-back. Halters will solve a problem there.
Your prediction for Sunday?
JG: A win for the Scarlets, but I think it will be closer than many think and it’s not going to be a thrashing (I still remember last year’s game, unfortunately!) I’ll definitely settle for the win and maybe a man-of-the-match performance by Will Boyde too 🙂
SW: I said we would lose last time and we won so 26-22 to Cardiff! (Ha, I’ll remind you of this! Ed.)
Thanks again to both for providing the answers, and a Happy New Year to all. Come on Cardiff!!