Kristian Dacey has challenged Cardiff to finish the first block of BKT United Rugby Championship fixtures on a high, starting on Saturday when they welcome DHL Stormers to the capital (KO 7.35pm).
The Blue and Blacks will host the reigning champions and Edinburgh before November’s international window, and head into the encounters on the back of consecutive derby wins over Scarlets and Dragons RFC.
The hooker was pleased to see Cardiff showing what they’re capable of in the recent derbies and hopes they can carry the momentum into Saturday’s clash as they bid for consistency.
“Last week’s win was massive for us. We’ve watched the Dragons this season and they’re a side that has massively improved,” said the Welsh international, who has now moved within 10 appearances of his double century for Cardiff.
“But we knew these derby games are always close. We’d won the previous four games by a total of five points so we knew it would be massive to get a win in the way we did it.
“There’s been a buy-in from the boys. Our backs have been against the wall a little bit for a number of reasons.
“The performance up in Glasgow after the Munster win wasn’t great and that was followed up by the Lions performance.
“But we knew, as a team, that we were capable of what we produced in the last two derbies and were capable of coming out on top. It was just a case of buying into what we wanted to do, backing each other up and having consistency over those two weeks.
“There’s been less changes in the team and the boys have really put the performance in.
“Munster was a good start to the season but we had those two games where our performances fell off.
“But over the last two games we’ve shown what we’re about. Hopefully, going forward into two more home games, we have a real chance to pay back to this crowd and get on a bit of a run before the international break.”
Stormers have Springboks such as Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe and Joseph Dweba in their front row divison, but while Dacey is under no illusion of the challenge ahead against the reigning champions, he is confident his side can go toe-to-toe with the South African outfit.
“The Stormers are a side who want to throw the ball around, but the weather didn’t really suit them against Ospreys last week,” explained the hooker.
“Depending on the weather this week, we know what to expect. They’re a big South African side and for us it’s about trying to take them on up front.
“Hopefully we’ll have enough there to come away with another victory.
“They are the reigning champions and over the last 15 games they’ve won 14 and drawn one. So we do realise that they’re not an easy side to turn over.
“We’ve watched their games and seen what they’re capable of but for us it’s about getting back to basics, as we did in the derbies. We need everyone working for each other.
“We’re eighth in the league and it’s an opportunity for us to get higher up there.
“Up front it’s a massive challenge for us, but we’ve obviously got the likes of Rhys Carré, Dmitri Arhip and Dillon Lewis, who has been selected for Wales.
“Yes it’s a massive challenge but as a rugby player these are the challenges that you want. It’s going to be confrontational, to say the least, but something we’re really looking forward to.
“You look at a lot of the packs in the league, and even the Scarlets one we’ve just played against, there’s some real big boys in there especially with the likes of Sione Kalamafoni and Sam Lousi.
“For us it’s about sticking to our processes, sticking to the basics and fronting up, and hopefully we can come out at the right side of the W.
“From the Scarlets to the Dragons game, we saw improvements with ball in hand but it’s an area of our game that we want to take further.
“Hopefully we can implement a few things and get a bit more running rugby out there.”
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