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Anscombe hopes for strong Cardiff Blues crowd in Bilbao

30th April 2018

Gareth Anscombe is hoping to see a large travelling contingent of supporters as Cardiff Blues take on Gloucester in the European Challenge Cup final.

Supporters have been snapping up tickets for the showpiece in Bilbao on Friday, May 11, and the Wales international knows it will be a memorable occasion.

“It will be great to see a lot of Blue jerseys in the stands and hopefully a lot of people from Cardiff can make it to Spain,” said Anscombe.

“It will be a tremendous atmosphere and a game that the club hasn’t been involved in for a while. 

“These are really exciting times and it would be nice to finish a big season with some silverware at the end of it.”

Anscombe was speaking following a slender Judgement Day defeat to the Ospreys, after Dan Biggar landed a late drop-goal.

The defeat was a bitter pill to swallow for a Cardiff Blues team showing 13 changes but Anscombe insists there were plenty of positives.

Now the focus is on recovering for one final push as the class of 2018 look to repeat the heroics of 2010 in Marseille.  

He continued: “The Ospreys game certainly took its toll and we made a lot of tackles, particularly in the second-half so for a lot of us it will be about icing and getting our bodies back right

“This week is a good chance mentally for us to switch off– we’ve been in a lot of big games and to South Africa so this group deserves to switch off and have a bit of fun. 

“Then we get to enjoy a special period with the club, where we haven’t been for a long time. So it is a chance to reflect on our season, get some ice on our bodies and get ready for a big push at the end.

“This group has really gelled well over the last two years, we have stayed tight and it’s starting to show now.

“It showed against the Ospreys, with a team that the media probably wrote off before the game, we showed we’re more than capable of winning.

“This team hasn’t really changed in the last three years, we’ve developed a pretty good leadership group and that with the style we have been pushing, we’re comfortable with the ball and our defence has gone strength to strength.

“You have to give a lot of credit to Richard Hodges and Shaun Edwards for the work they have done and the boys have really bought into it.

“We’re certainly not the finished article and we have to keep improving but our defence is keeping us in games where as in the past we just tried to score more points than the opposition.”

The Blues’ fourth-place finish in Conference A of the Guinness PRO14 guaranteed qualification to the European Champions Cup for the first time since the 2013-14 season.

Anscombe, who won a Super Rugby title with the Chiefs, is relishing the opportunity to test himself against the best teams in the northern hemisphere and looks forward to playing in front of more packed houses at Cardiff Arms Park.

He added: “The region has been calling out for that for a while now and having some big games at home next year will be exciting. 

“We’re looking forward to everything that brings with the crowd. 

“Having a sell-out stadium last week against Pau was a fantastic occasion and probably the most special I have had in a Blues jersey. 

“The feeling afterwards and just seeing the crowd after and how relieved and happy they were was pretty special. It would be nice to give them one more to cheer about.”

For those not able to travel to Bilbao, the doors to Cardiff Arms Park will be open for an Official Cardiff Blues Supporters Fanzone. To register your interest for the even click here.

Cardiff Blues Season Memberships for the 2018-19 season are available now. Watch Wales’ Capital Region in the top tier of Europe by clicking here or calling 029 20 302030.