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Derby clash the perfect opportunity to build momentum ahead of Connacht - Shingler

15th November 2017

Steven Shingler insists that the Anglo-Welsh Cup derby clash against Ospreys is a perfect opportunity to build momentum ahead of a potential season-defining block of Guinness PRO14 and European fixtures.

The Swansea-based outfit visit Cardiff Arms Park on Friday for what will be the only clash between the sides at the iconic venue this season.

Outside-half Shingler, who is in his second season at the capital city, believes a victory against their fierce rivals could put the Blues in the perfect position ahead of next week’s return to PRO14 action, where they will host Conference A opponents, Connacht.

“There will be a few changes, and I think last year was similar in that we had a two-week Anglo-Welsh Cup break and then played Connacht so we might play a bit more well-known players in this game,” said Shingler.

“We had a tough start to the season with the three Irish teams away, but we’ve built up a bit of form and only lost two in the last seven games.

“The plan is to get a good win against the Ospreys, going into Connacht, which is what the doctor would order, and that’s what we’ll try to achieve.

“In these derbies, you come up against players you’ve seen playing just down the motorway. The derbies around Christmas are the big ones, but this isn’t far off. 

“Playing against the Ospreys and being a Llanelli boy, it’s always a big game, and Cardiff Blues have a lot of history against them.

“Last time we played against them was at the Principality Stadium, and they’ll want to get one back on us.

“We’re playing Ospreys at home, and we don’t often play them at the Arms Park, because of Judgement Day, so we’ll be looking to put a marker down before we go down to them around Christmas-time.”

Richard Hodges’ side will look to bounce back from last week’s heavy defeat to Newcastle Falcons in the opening round of the cross-border competition.

Shingler did not feature at Kingston Park, but reveals that the squad have been working hard on the training ground in order to make an immediate bounce-back this week.

Shingler said: “We’ve been working hard on our defence, and that was obviously the highest scoreline we’ve conceded this year.

“There’s been some home truths, and you’ll see more emphasis this week on making sure our defence is more solid and bringing the line speed we didn’t have in Newcastle.

“Our identity at the moment is that we’re an aggressive defensive team, and I don’t think that’s a secret, it’s just where we are.

“Once you get on the back foot and losing collisions is when your defence gets softer.

“We’ve got to be physical on the weekend - especially at home and especially against the Ospreys - and come off that line a bit harder.”

Tickets for Friday's derby clash between Cardiff Blues and Ospreys are available NOW! Make sure you are there for the only opportunity this season to see these two rivals go head-to-head at Cardiff Arms Park.