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Young issues rallying call ahead of Welsh derby

Guinness PRO12 Editor

1 Apr 2011

Cardiff Blues head coach Dai Young has called on his big guns to fire against the Ospreys in Saturday’s crunch Magners League clash.

The Blues fell to disappointing 16-15 home defeat at the hands of Munster last weekend to put a major dent in their play-off hopes.

Young feels some of his star players failed to shine in the loss but is confident a Welsh derby against the Ospreys will be enough to get the Blues firing on full cylinders.

"It's not going to be easy, we haven't got a good record down at the Liberty, but then again not many teams have," said Young.

"It's a bit of a fortress for them so we know how tough it will be there. But saying that we have the quality in the team and our big players now have to step up.

"The likes of Xavier Rush, Casey Laulala, Paul Tito, Bradley Davies and Jamie Roberts. If those boys stand up and play to the best of their ability it will take a good team to beat us.

"Last week I thought the Welsh boys looked more mentally jaded than physically. I've played in the Six Nations myself and I know how mentally demanding it is.

"But playing the Ospreys away is enough to focus anyone's mind and in training this week they've been on the money.
"They're looking forward to it and we'll be right up for the game physically and mentally."

The Blues were 27-25 victors the last time the two sides met in the Magners League and Young hopes his charges can record a memorable double over their Welsh rivals.

"The Ospreys and ourselves is an intense rivalry in that both teams know one another really well having played with and against each other on many occasions," added Young.

"You always want to put one over on your mate. But discipline will be paramount for us, as we'll be executing our game-plan really well.

"We're going up against a quality team, a team that knows if they can win this one they are in a very strong position to defend their title."

Young insists the Blues have to win the Welsh derby to have any chance of reaching the Magners League play-offs.

"With losing at home to Munster last week, with limited games left and with us being five points behind the Ospreys. If we were to lose this game we would then be relying on favours from others.

"It would be a real uphill battle. So we realise that this is a game we have to win. There certainly won't be a lot of money riding on us to make the play-offs if we lose.

"From the Welsh point of view we should really be getting two teams into the play-offs, as difficult as that's now going to be to do.

"The Ospreys, ourselves and the Scarlets still have a realistic chance, so there's all to play for.But I think this weekend it's us and the Scarlets who face really big games.

"The Scarlets will need something away to Ulster and we will need the same at the Ospreys otherwise we’re both up against it."