It’s ‘win or bust’ for Cardiff – Hodges

15 Apr

Richard Hodges knows Cardiff must stop Matthew Morgan at St Helens

CARDIFF RFC head coach Richard Hodges has admitted that his side are in a “win or bust” situation ahead of their clash with Swansea at St Helen’s tomorrow.
The Blue and Blacks take on the fifth-placed All Whites knowing that anything less than a win will see their season come to a premature end, and mean they miss out on the British and Irish Cup.

Tonmawr’s home win over bottom side Glamorgan Wanderers in midweek saw Cardiff shunted back out of the play-off places for next season’s competition, and Hodges has called on his side to respond.

“We’ve have had a couple of last-throw-of-the-dice games over the past few weeks, but we know now we have to win to get back in those play-off spots,” Hodges said.

“We have been coming second in a lot of tight games recently.

“We had a run of three games in quick succession at home – Newport, Ponty and Aberavon – which we knew would be key, and, apart from that Newport performance, where we could have beaten anybody in the league, we just never really got going,” he said.

“The bonus is coming into this game we have had a week off, whereas Swansea have played both Ponty and Neath, so they will be tired.”

And Hodges admits that stopping Welsh under-20 star Matthew Morgan getting the dangerous Whites’ backline going, on what he considers “the best pitch in the league,” will be one of the keys to the game.

“We have to make sure we play Matthew Morgan well,” he added.

“I don’t think it is a mystery how they have collected the most bonus points in the league, they are an attacking side and Swansea is a tough place to get a win, but we have to get one, simple as that.”

Elsewhere, cup finalists Aberavon are the visitors to the Memorial Ground in Ely, where they will face a Glamorgan Wanderers side already facing up to the prospect of a relegation play-off.

Wanderers’ coach, Chris Ower said: “We have known what we are facing for a few weeks now so Saturday is about not looking too far ahead and focusing on areas of our game we need to get right.

“Aberavon are a quality side, in great form obviously, but we need to try and play a bit more rugby and build confidence.

“In our situation there’s no point being reserved, we have to be a threat, be creative and have a go,” he added.

The club have so far had no assurances over the future of Blues youngsters Josh Navidi and Dan Fish for next season.

“They are Blues players so it is for them to decide, but I think they need to be playing in the first team at that level now.

“With Sam Warburton away at the World Cup there will be a chance for Josh to get some games.”

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