The United Rugby Championship’s Welsh Shield isn’t exactly something that will be paraded in the clubhouse in years to come.
Seven weekends boasting at least one Welsh derby per round to end the season ought to have been accompanied by play-off pushes. Alas, with just a few games to go, that’s looking unlikely.
The Scarlets harbour slim play-off hopes, sitting five points behind eighth place, simply waiting for the Vodacom Bulls or Edinburgh to slip up.
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However, while Dwayne Peel’s side would like to be looking up at reaching the play-offs and putting together a repeat of their 2src17 triumph, the fact that the Welsh Shield isn’t sewn up means they still have to keep one eye looking over their shoulder.
With each of the Welsh sides outside the top eight, topping the Welsh Shield becomes the automatic route into Champions Cup rugby. Right now, the Scarlets are in control of that – leading the Ospreys by nine points.
The Swansea-based side have three games to go rather than two,
…. to be continued
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