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Match Page 2017-18 - Scoreboard WP ID: 132

Match Page 2017-18 - Last Time WP ID: 133

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Preview: Cardiff Blues v Ospreys

Charlie Talbot-Smith 27 Apr 2018

Cardiff Blues welcome the Ospreys to Principality Stadium on Saturday for the second game of Judgement Day.

The in-form Blues beat Ospreys in this fixture last season and will be looking to repeat the trick this time around.

What’s at stake? The Blues have already qualified for European Champions Cup action next season whilst Ospreys are in the Champions Cup Play-off, however it may still be mathematically possible for Cardiff to overtake Cheetahs in third place.

While the Blues – who are also preparing for their European Challenge Cup final – have only lost one of their last nine in all competitions, the Ospreys arrive on a two-match losing run in the Guinness PRO14.

Team news (Cardiff Blues) Taufa’ao Filise returns to the Cardiff Blues line-up as Danny Wilson makes 13 changes in all.

Filise will make his 254th appearance for the region while Gareth Anscombe, who was a stand-out player during last season’s bonus point victory at the Principality Stadium, captains his side for the encounter and makes a switch from full-back to the No.10 jersey.

The only other player to be retained in the starting line-up from last week’s European Challenge Cup semi-final win over Pau is Josh Turnbull, who features at No.8.

Team news (Ospreys) Sam Cross is the only player to keep his place in the Ospreys starting XV after their defeat to Zebre last time out.

Cross moves across from No.8 to blindside flanker as Allen Clarke brings back his big hitters for Judgement Day.

British & Irish Lions like Dan Biggar and Justin Tipuric return while Alun Wyn Jones will skipper the side from the second row.

Talking points  Blues head coach Danny Wilson is keen to see a repeat of last season’s result, and insists places are up-for-grabs for the Challenge Cup final in Bilbao on May 11.

“Judgement Day is massive, it’s a derby again and those are the big games you want to play in. At the tail-end of the season we’ve come up against a number of big games and it feels like every week there’s a big game,” said Wilson.

“We will certainly go into a derby against Ospreys with the mindset that we want to pick up another derby win and we believe our squad is capable of doing that.”

Ospreys head coach Allen Clarke: “While Saturday’s game won’t have any bearing on how we finish the season, Judgment Day is always a big occasion for Welsh rugby and it’s something to look forward to.

“Cardiff will have their own focus, with a Challenge Cup final to prepare for, but we will worry about ourselves going into the game and what we can do. This is a first for me, in terms of Judgment Day, and I know that the result last year hurt the group.

“I’ve done my research into the history of the fixture and I’m aware that the Ospreys have had the upper hand prior to that game. Everybody will want to ensure that stays the way.”

Key battle:  Gareth Anscombe v Dan Biggar

Both Biggar and Anscombe split time in the No.10 jersey for Wales in the Six Nations this year – along with Rhys Patchell.

And with a summer tour to Argentina on the horizon, the battle for the fly-half berth is heating up.

Anscombe has been a key figure in the Blues revival while Biggar is looking to sign off on a high from the Ospreys.

Key fact Ospreys have lost only one of their last 14 encounters with the Blues in this league, 17-35 at Principality Stadium in this fixture last season.

Did you know? Ospreys have made eight previous appearances at Principality Stadium in all tournaments, winning the first six but losing the last two, against Stade Francais in last season’s European Challenge Cup quarter-final and to Cardiff Blues in ‘Judgement Day V’.

Cardiff Blues: Matthew Morgan; Aled Summerhill, Garyn Smith, Steven Shingler, Blaine Scully; Gareth Anscombe (capt), Lloyd Williams; Rhys Gill, Kirby Myhill, Taufa’ao Filise, Damian Welch, James Down, Macauley Cook, Olly Robinson, Josh Turnbull

Replacements: Ethan Lewis, Brad Thyer, Dillon Lewis, Ben Murphy, Alun Lawrence, Lewis Jones, Harri Millard, Max Llewellyn

Ospreys: Dan Evans, Jeff Hassler, Kieron Fonotia, Owen Watkin, Hanno Dirksen, Dan Biggar, Tom Habberfield, Nicky Smith, Scott Otten, Dmitri Arhip, Bradley Davies, Alun Wyn Jones, Sam Cross, Justin Tipuric, James King

Replacements: Ifan Phillips, Rhodri Jones, Ma’afu Fia, Adam Beard, Giorgi Nemsadze, Reuben Morgan-Williams, Sam Davies, Ashley Beck

TV: At Principality Stadium, Cardiff, 5.35pm Live on S4C

Referee: Frank Murphy (IRFU, 14th competition game) Assistant Referees: Dan Jones (WRU), Shane Kierans (IRFU) Citing Commissioner: Paul Thomas (WRU) TMO: Neil Hennessey (WRU)

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Prices start at just €35 at www.ticketmaster.ie with tickets available to suit every experience.
To book hospitality visit: https://www.pro14rugby.org/hospitality
For Travel packages visit: https://www.pro14rugby.org/travel-packages
For Fanzone & Dublin 7s visit: http://www.dublin7sfestival.ie

Historical Lineup Pre Opta (sfms data) - Preview - v2

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Match Data WP: 140

Match Page 2017-18 - Timeline WP:139

Biggar late show steals points for Ospreys

Rich Dore 28 Apr 2018

Wales fly-half Dan Biggar kicked a dramatic late drop-goal to give Ospreys an excellent win over Cardiff Blues in the last fixture of the regular season.

An excellent first half saw Alun Wyn Jones grab the first try of the match before Gareth Anscombe and Garyn Smith responded with two classy tries at Principality Stadium.

The capital outfit led at the break but Biggar then grabbed Ospreys’ second score to level things up, with he and Anscombe trading penalties to make it 23-23 heading into the final five minutes.

Ospreys worked their way upfield and Biggar duly knocked over a quickfire drop-goal, sealing the win to end a run of two Guinness PRO14 defeats.

The match started with Ospreys showing their attacking intent right from the off as Hanno Dirksen broke upfield, minutes later Biggar got the first points of the game with an easy three-pointer.

On 14 minutes though Anscombe, at fly-half for the match, made it 3-3 with a long-range shot from in front of the posts.

Ospreys continued with their attacking instincts and after an excellent break from Jeff Hassler through the middle the ball eventually worked its way to Jones, who shook off the last tackle to touch down out wide.

Biggar knocked over the conversion but five minutes later his opposite man scored one of the tries of the game – receiving the ball just past halfway and slaloming past the Ospreys defence all the way to the line.

The Blues soon had their second try as Steve Shingler poked a kick into the opposition 22, leaving midfield partner Smith to collect and dive over next to the posts.

The Blues led 20-13 after an entertaining first half but Ospreys were in no mood to submit and after the break began battering away at the opposition line, going close with an effort adjudged to have been held up over the line.

Determined to bring the scores level though the Ospreys ran through the phases until Biggar scored a brilliant effort, somehow wriggling through the line when the defence seemed to be closing all around him.

The Wales No.10’s conversion went over to level it up at 20-20 but on 68 minutes Anscombe knocked over a tricky penalty to nudge his side ahead.

The visitors weren’t to be outdone though and worked another penalty opportunity on 74 minutes that Biggar knocked over in a continuing battle of the fly-halves.

And it would be the Ospreys man who had the last laugh as his neat drop-goal with three minutes remaining edged his side ahead to seal the points on Judgement Day.

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Prices start at just €50 at www.ticketmaster.ie with tickets available to suit every experience.
To book hospitality visit: https://www.pro14rugby.org/hospitality
For Travel packages visit: https://www.pro14rugby.org/travel-packages
For Fanzone & Dublin 7s visithttp://www.dublin7sfestival.ie

Match Page 2017-18 - Summary WP:137

Match Page 2017-18 - Match Data WP: 140

Match Page 2017-18 - Timeline WP:139

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Performance WP:138