Blog Banner

Anscombe ready to go a step further in Europe

26th March 2018

Gareth Anscombe is ready to go a step further in Europe, as Cardiff Blues prepare to take on Edinburgh at BT Murrayfield on Saturday.

The outside half featured in last season’s quarter-final defeat to Gloucester at Kingsholm, while also starting in 2014 loss against Dragons at Rodney Parade.

A win for Danny Wilson’s side on Saturday would set-up a home quarter-final at Cardiff Arms Park against the winner of the Pau v State Francais tie.

Anscombe, who starred as Wales claimed second place in this year’s NatWest 6 Nations, insists his side are determined to go a step further this year, as two of the PRO14’s in-form sides go head-to-head at the Scottish capital.

“Qualifying for the semi-final would be the biggest thing that we’ve achieved in a while, and that’s something we’re aware of,” said Anscombe.

"I’ve played in two quarter-finals and we’ve lost both of them, and last year, when you look back at the game against Gloucester, we were pretty happy with how we were going after 50 minutes. We fell away from then on, which we are still bitterly disappointed with.

“If we can get a semi-final at the Arms Park, and I’d imagine we’d be able to sell it out, it would be a real positive for the region and one that the boys are really determined to achieve.

“A gut feeling from last year, with how the game was going, we could’ve won that but lost our focus and you can’t be playing these games for 60 minutes and expect to win.

“The boys are really excited for this knockout stage, and when we got together for pre-season last July it was something we spoke about.

“Everyone will be coming to training this week with a real energy and buzz because it’s exciting to be playing knockout rugby. That’s what we want to be doing, and the boys are excited about it.

“I’ve had time to refresh from a pretty intense Six Nations campaign, but it’s been nice to see the boys again and catching up after they’ve had a strong few weeks. They’ve picked up some really good wins.”

Both sides head into the clash in good form. Cardiff Blues have picked up seven consecutive victories in PRO14 and Challenge Cup matches, while Edinburgh are currently on a five-game winning streak.

Anscombe is aware of the threat posed by the Scottish outfit, but is confident that his side can progress if they focus for the full 80 minutes.

The Welsh international said: “I haven’t seen a hell of a lot of them as of late, but certainly their results are doing a hell of a lot of talking for themselves.

“They’re turning things around over there, and it’s going to be a tough ask away from home, but one we can be excited about and it’s a good opportunity for this group to try to play for some silverware.

“We need to make sure we don’t hurt ourselves with the ball and if we look after the ball and stay focused for 80 minutes then we’ll give ourselves a really good chance.

“Playing them at Myreside last year was really tough, but they’ve gone better since then as well. We’re well aware of what’s coming our way.

"Edinburgh are going to be a tough proposition, especially over there, but it’s exciting.

“It’s a huge chance for us to play well and, as I mentioned, there will be a huge buzz around the group all week.”