Wednesday 26 July 2017

Cardiff refusing to give up on top-six ambition

Cardiff Blues head coach Danny Wilson is refusing to give up hope on a top-six finish. (Stock image)
Cardiff Blues head coach Danny Wilson is refusing to give up hope on a top-six finish. (Stock image)
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

It has been yet another disappointing Pro12 campaign for Cardiff Blues but their head coach Danny Wilson is refusing to give up hope on a top-six finish that would seal their place in next season's Champions Cup.

The Blues are currently nine points off sixth place Glasgow and as the Welsh side arrive in Dublin tomorrow, they could do with a victory to reignite their charge.

A 16-13 defeat in the Arms Park in October was a massive opportunity lost for Cardiff and confidence levels won't be that high consid3ering how both sides' seasons have gone since then.

Slip

Leinster have collected 20 points from a possible 20 during the Six Nations period while Cardiff's form has been patchy as they have watched their top-six chances slowly slip from their grasp.

"It's a big ask now," Wilson admitted.

"We've left ourselves a fair bit to do to get into the top six, but there's still mathematically the opportunity and we've got some big games ahead of us.

"A play-off spot gives us the opportunity to make Champions Cup next year.

"We've got some big games ahead of us. We'll take them very seriously. We need a performance away at Leinster to then go into the (Challenge Cup) quarter-final against Gloucester the next week.

"That's a key target game for us and obviously a game that we are aiming to win away and qualify for the semi-final which would be a fantastic achievement for us.

"In terms of league matches, I think we want to get as many points on the board as possible to give ourselves a chance to be in the top six - a very outside chance now, in my opinion."

Wilson warned against the major threat that Leinster pose to his side.

"They are obviously top of the league and are a quality side playing some great rugby, especially at home," Wilson admitted.

"You have seen some of the sides that have gone to their place recently and taken some heavy beatings.

"Scarlets in their last game - they had been going extremely well and then went to Leinster and received 30 or 40 points.

"We are all fully aware of the challenge that is ahead. The boys have trained well over the last couple of weeks. With no game, it allowed us to get a few boys back from injury but ultimately, that is the same for Leinster.

"I know they have got a few big hitters back from injury and a few big hitters back from Ireland. There is no bigger challenge but it is one that we are certainly motivated by and certainly looking forward to."

Irish Independent

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