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Cardiff determined to finish season on a high and bounce back from derby defeats - Ratti

First Team News | 29th April 2022

James Ratti insists the Cardiff squad are determined to finish the season on a high and bounce back from disappointing derby defeats to Scarlets and Ospreys.

Dai Young’s side travel to Cork this evening to face an in-form Munster side as the Blue and Blacks approach the final four games of the season.

Ratti says it’s a time to pull together as a squad and bring Cardiff back to where it belongs.

“As a team, we’ve spoken this week about pulling together. We’ve got tough games coming up but ones we’re excited for,” said the back row.

“For us it’s about putting pride back in the jersey, bringing intensity to our game and take it week-by-week.

“We want to put in the best performance that we can come the end of the year.

“Munster are a great side who are playing in the quarter final of Europe next week, so they’re riding high.

“But we’re not a team to be taken lightly either so we need to go there with the mentality of disrupting their party.

“We want to imprint our gameplan on them. We’re all disappointed and feel we’ve got more to give as a side.

“Perhaps that’s let us down on occasions but we can’t go and sulk for the last few games. It’s about picking each other up, having conversations about how we can improve and get back to where Cardiff belong.

“At the moment we’re not putting enough pressure on sides and turning the ball over too much in the first few phases.

“That’s something we’ll address going into this game. We’ve been solid defensively at points but when teams are putting pressure on us, at some point, as Dai said before, the dam can break.”

On a personal level, Ratti has impressed since converting from lock to number eight and was rewarded with his first call-up to Wales’ Guinness Six Nations squad.

With Taulupe Faletau set to arrive at the Arms Park in the summer to provide further competition in the eight jersey, Ratti wants to continue his development and looks forward to learning from the British and Irish Lion.

He added: “Moving to number eight wasn’t something I expected but it’s something that I’m making the most of. I’m trying to improve as much as I can and it’s the most game-time I’ve had in senior rugby which is always good.

“You want to play as much as possible, try to improve and so far it’s been a good move for me personally.

“I have the ability to play in other position as well but number eight is the main focus for me at the moment.

“I’m looking to improve day-in, day-out as much as I can and the target is to play as much at a higher level as I can.

“The national environment is so elite and the professionalism and intensity of training is a different challenge again.

“Every rugby player wants to be there so it’s about performing as much as you can and getting there as often as you can.

“I took a lot of positives out of the experience and there were work-ons from a personal basis. I always want to improve on my footwork and my ball-playing skills. I don’t just want to be a carrier but a ball player as well.

“The standard of the international game is about having those dynamic instances and affecting the game.

“You try to bring a point of difference to make a case for starting, especially in a competitive back row like Cardiff’s. You need something to get you selected more often and for me it’s the ball-carrying and getting across the gain line.

“Taulupe Faletau is a tremendous player and I took a lot of learnings from him during the Six Nations. It’s healthy competition that you want where boys drive each other on. I can use the experience to take a lot from his game - he’s very dynamic, good with ball in hand and has good offloading ability.

“It will be good to work with him come next year.”