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Cardiff Blues must carry momentum to South Africa - Wilson

5th April 2018

Danny Wilson insists his side must use their momentum as they prepare for challenging back-to-back Guinness PRO14 games against South African opposition.

After booking their place in the final four of the Challenge Cup, Cardiff Blues now head to the Rainbow Nation to take on Toyota Cheetahs and Southern Kings, as they look to press their claims for Champions Cup qualification and the end of season play-off.

But with a busy schedule and all-to-play for in both the Challenge Cup and PRO14, Wilson believes it's important to use the squad in a balanced manner in order to reach targets. 

“Definitely confidence is high. 10 wins out of 12 will make it high, will keep it high and hopefully we can keep the run going,” said Wilson.

“We definitely need another win, if not more, to try to cement Champions Cup qualification, which has to be the goal, and we’re on track to achieve.

“We’ll go out to South Africa in a good place, we’re confident but we’ll also be aware of the big challenge ahead of us.

“To ride on our confidence into this block of games is important, and we’ve started well with wins over Ulster and Edinburgh.

"We’ll keep taking it game-by-game, because I don’t think you can plan much further ahead than that. 

“But you certainly have to keep one eye on the fact that there is a semi final around the corner, after two games in South Africa. You have to manage your squad for that type of challenge.

“It’s got to be balance with the headache, albeit a nice headache, of thinking about the semi final  as well.

"If we can go one step better, and make it an European final or even better and win it, then fantastic, but we won’t be getting too far ahead of ourselves and at the moment we’ll enjoy what we’re doing.”

It will be Cardiff Blues’ first visit to South Africa since the introduction of Cheetahs and Kings to the Championship, and the head coach insists their arrival has made a positive impact on the PRO14.

Wilson said: “It’s been great to have the different challenge of playing different opposition, that we don’t face week-in, week-out.

"It’s a very different competition now in terms of the two conferences. As an example, Cheetahs will play the Kings three times in a season, we play our derbies more and only face the Kings once.

"That’s different to get used to but it’s a new challenge, which freshens things up a little bit and therefore it’s been a positive move to bring them in.

“We’ve obviously done our fair bit of research into the travel and how to reduce the effect of travel, then obviously playing at altitude, which we will do in the first game, and we won’t have a huge amount of time to climatise to that.

“We’ve spoken to the other regions and to the WRU in terms of travel arrangements and they’ve been big help in the process.”