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Cardiff Blues can go into derby clash with confidence says Wilson

24th October 2017

Danny Wilson believes Cardiff Blues can go into Saturday's derby clash against Scarlets in full confidence following last week's momentous European Challenge Cup victory at Toulouse.

Wales’ Capital Region return to Guinness PRO14 action having secured four wins in the last five fixtures in all competition, and will take on the defending champions at Parc y Scarlets in the second Welsh derby of the season.

Wilson insists his side are fully aware of the threat posed by Wayne Pivac’s side, but insists the Blues will not be intimidated by their underdog status going into the match.

“Now it’s time to focus back on the Guinness PRO14,” said Wilson. 

“We’ve won four of our last five games, with the loss to Munster in between and I think it shows we’ve made some good progress and are moving in the right direction.

“I will have some tricky decisions to make ahead of Saturday, and that’s the place you want to be. We’ve got some headaches in terms of selection, from performances over the last five games we’ve played.

“There’s lots for us to draw confidence from, but we’re also highly critical of ourselves in terms of drop offs and so on in games, but at the moment we should go into the Scarlets game full of confidence while remaining fully aware that we’re facing the defending champions away from home.

“We’ll be clear underdogs going into the game, but what a position to be in to go there and have a go. 

“We won at the Scarlets a couple of years ago, and we think we know what it takes to win at the Scarlets, but it will be a huge challenge to do so.

“Pressure’s off a bit and we can go there and try to play the game we want to play and see if we can pick up an away win.”

Tries from Nick Williams and Macauley Cook helped the Blues on their way to a 17-15 victory at Stade Ernest Wallon last week, as Wilson’s side made it two from two in Europe. 

Wilson was delighted with his side’s performance in the south of France, and is excited by the tasty upcoming double-header against Sale Sharks in round three and four of European action.

Wilson said: “I think it was a good performance. It was a very pleasing result away from home at a venue like that against that type of squad.

“We certainly went out for the second half and dominated the game, and that was probably the most pleasing part of the performance, it was all us really.

“To go into Europe and play two sides at the top end of their domestic table and come away with two wins and nine points, we would definitely have accepted that pre-tournament.

“We sit in a nice position now going into the double-header against Sale and being top of the group.

“There was a lot of experience out there who have played a lot of rugby for Cardiff Blues, mixed in with a lot of youngsters who had their first taste of European competition against that sort of opposition. 

“We’re very pleased with the young front row that finished the game, the young half backs, but really pleased with some older heads who put in some big performances as well.

“Toulouse named a strong team, and that has to give you confidence moving back into the championship.”