Young sets Blues Magners ultimatum

29 Mar

Dai Young has demanded the Blues are perfect from now on, if they're to make the play-offs

Cardiff Blues coach Dai Young has laid down the gauntlet to his players for the season finale, by challenging them to win all five of their remaining matches.

The Blues are on the hunt for a Magners League play-off spot, but they were dealt a blow when they lost at home to Munster on Friday.

The 16-15 defeat leaves the Blues in fifth place, and their next fixture is a crucial Welsh derby away to fellow title-chasers the Ospreys.With the Ospreys currently occupying the fourth and final play-off place, Young has highlighted Saturday’s clash at the Liberty Stadium as a particularly significant match.

“Let’s make no bones about it – very few teams go to the Ospreys and win,” he said. “We know how difficult it’s going to be, but we just have to do it if we are going to win the Magners League.”

Victory in Swansea would be a sizeable first step towards Magners glory, and Young has stressed to the Blues they cannot afford any more slip-ups.

“When we had six games left, I said we had to win five,” he said. “So after losing to Munster, it’s quite simple: we’ve got to win the five games we have left.

Otherwise, we’re relying on other people to do us a favour.”One such team could be Edinburgh, who aided the Blues’ cause on Saturday when they came roaring back from 13-3 down to beat the Ospreys at Murrayfield.

But Young is adamant his players will have to determine their own fate if their season is to end with a trophy.

“You can only control yourselves,” he said.

“It’s all to do now. Every game is a cup final.”

The Ospreys, meanwhile, are also in bullish mood ahead of Saturday’s showdown, and skills coach Gruff Rees says they have an extra incentive to defend their Magners League title.

Rees said: “There’s a nagging feeling in the back of our minds that the Heineken Cup was a let down, and we owe the fans, so we are doubly determined to succeed in the Magners League.”

This feeling is palpable in the Blues camp too, as the Magners League is the only remaining trophy either side can win this season.

And while Young is under no illusions about the challenge the Blues face, he also has a warning for their rivals.

“On our day, we are a very difficult team to beat. We’ve got a big mountain to climb, but we are capable of it.”


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