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Evans looks for a reaction in Scarlets showdown

First Team News | 7th April 2022

Jarrod Evans insists there has been an edge to training this week as Cardiff focus on avenging last Saturday’s derby defeat against the Scarlets. 

Dwayne Peel’s side visit Cardiff Arms Park just seven days on from their 35-20 victory and according to Evans, the Blue and Blacks have had an intense week of preparations as they aim to gain ground on their rivals in the pursuit of the Welsh Shield.

He said: “We had a pretty brutal start to the week in terms of reviewing the game but we’ve worked hard and as Dai (Young) said after the game, hopefully this weekend is our chance to immediately right the wrongs.

“We did some good stuff out there, especially in the first 20 minutes. But we needed to build a bit more pressure on the Scarlets defence. 

“We probably forced one or two passes and let the game get too loose. If we looked after the ball for a little bit longer we could have stressed the Scarlets a bit more. We had some joy aerially against them too. 

“It’s about reiterating those messages about keeping the ball and maintaining our shape. If we look after the ball we know we can hurt them.

Evans sees Saturday’s fixture as a chance to react positively to defeat and kickstart a run of form for the season run in.

While a top eight finish now appears a tough ask, topping the Welsh Shield is more achievable, particularly with one or two games in hand over their rivals.

He said: “It’s a perfect opportunity. We know what Scarlets bring, they’ve got a lot of talent in their team but we’ve just got to focus on ourselves and keep moving in the right direction. When we play at Arms Park we feel like we get that extra bit of confidence.

“For us it’s about trying to back up performances. We’ll take one game at a time and we’ve just got to try and find that consistency going forward. 

“Nothing drastically changes in terms of our preparation for the game, we’ve just tried to refine the details so we’re ready to go on game day. So, as I said, it’s about taking one game at a time, no matter the run of fixtures that we’ve got coming up.

“Hopefully the boys will come with the right attitude and we’ll be able to take those lessons from last week and hit the required levels this week.”

Cardiff’s home form has seen them win all but two of their fixtures in the Welsh capital this season. However, this is a stark contrast to Young’s team’s results on the road. 

Evans added: “It’s probably been the story of our season; in patches we’ve been good and then we’ve dropped off it a bit. Generally, our performances and the attitude we’ve approached games with at home has been a lot better than when we travel away. This is obviously very disappointing for us.

“In the preparation for our next away game we’ve got to figure out why that is, but as a group we’ve spoken about focusing on each game as it comes. So, my goal is to give everything in the next match and help ensure the team is ready for Scarlets on Saturday.

“We all prefer the earlier kick off and it makes a big difference in preparation as you’re not waiting around all day for the game to come around. It’s also great for the fans. Hopefully we can get a great turn out this week as the boys have really had a spring in their step this week.”

Tickets for Cardiff Rugby v Scarlets on Saturday (15.10 KO) are available now by clicking here.