The Celtic League champions have virtually surrendered that crown after slipping 17 points behind leaders Ospreys. Now their European ambitions are on the line against the Saints with nothing less than victory needed - for either side - to have a fighting chance of progressing to the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup.
"Looking back at what the club has achieved you would have to say that not reaching the last eight would not just be disappointing but deemed a huge failure," said Easterby. "The expectations put on us by both ourselves, the fans and the media is something we have to live up to. We always set out with Europe being the main aim of each season but for whatever reason we have not performed to our standards this year.
"We have at least brought ourselves back into contention with back-to-back wins over Glasgow. We have got a chance at qualification which is as much as we could have asked for after the losing the first two games. We expect to beat Northampton. It's as simple as that. And we know that victory over Northampton means we will have to go to Toulouse and win the group." Scarlets and Northampton's fortunes have mirrored each other this season. Following disastrous starts to their respective league campaigns, victories in Europe over Glasgow have galvanized both clubs' fortunes. Northampton have won four of their last five games, including a 23-21 triumph over Toulouse, while the Scarlets have lost just once in their last six. "We have been in similar positions all season," said Easterby. "They had a poor early season, like ourselves. They were low on confidence and not playing great. But they are now on the up and coming right back into form. They are still in this group. It's going to be a tough game. At Franklin's Gardens we were physically off the pace and came off second best in most areas. We have learned from that." The Scarlets are still sweating on the fitness of in-form centre Matthew Watkins, while Northampton have lost ex-All Black scrum-half Mark Robinson but have forwards Mark Soden and Robbie Morris back.
Llanelli Scarlets: G Evans; A Havili, TBC, S Finau, T Selley; G Bowen, D Peel; I Thomas, M Rees, J Davies, V Cooper, C Wyatt, S Easterby (capt), D Jones, G Thomas
Replacements: P John, A Gravelle, A Jones, A Powell, M Phillips, A Thomas, TBC
Northampton Saints: B Reihana; J Rudd, B Cohen, M Stcherbina, W Human; P Grayson, J Howard; C Budgen, S Thompson (capt), R Morris, G Seely, M Lord, A Blowers, M Soden, C Krige. Replacements: D Richmond, B Sturgess, D Browne, D Fox, B Jones, S Drahm, M Tucker
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.
The WRU has launched a campaign to create a long term legacy for Welsh club rugby by highlighting the advantages of volunteering. Rhian Edwards, a volunteer at Seven Sisters, has enjoyed many benefits of her volunteering at a grassroots rugby club including being part of the Rugby World Cup volunteer workforce after being nominated by the WRU - and the WRU is asking for more people to develop their 'Welsh rugby roots'.