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Mulvihill expects improvements for Zebre clash

13th September 2018

John Mulvihill is confident Cardiff Blues will learn from their mistakes as they look to kick-start their Guinness PRO14 season against Zebre on Saturday (7.35pm BST).

On consecutive weekends Wales’ Capital Region slipped to narrow defeats in the dying moments, the combined deficit a mere three-points combined.

The 27-25 loss to Benetton Rugby last Saturday was particularly hard to stomach but Mulvihill believes the Blues can right their wrongs at Stadio Lanfranchi.

He said: “The boys were very disappointed after the game. Again we put ourselves in a position to win but didn’t finish off in the last few minutes. Two games, two games lost by only three points over the two. 

“It’s important we get the win this weekend and they have come in on Monday ready to go. We had the weekend off, got over it and have been flat out since. We are ready to go.

“A loss is a loss, it doesn’t matter how many points you get beat by so we have to learn from those situations and we must win this weekend. That has been our focus and everything we do we have to do right this week.

"We need to learn from those mistakes and make sure we get a result this weekend because there are no excuses, we have to win on Saturday night," he insisted.

"Everyone's still really positive, we continually review what we do in both attack and defence.”

Zebre will certainly present a different challenge to their Italian counterparts. While Benetton are known for their physical and attritional style of play, Zebre keep the ball alive and run from all over the pitch.

Mulvihill maintains Cardiff Blues must improve their discipline but he is also acutely aware that their speed of play will have to accelerate in readiness for a high octane encounter.

He added: “Our discipline needs to be good around the breakdown, defensively we need to put them under pressure and we can play off turnover ball. They are a team where we need to have 15 guys on their feet otherwise they will find space.

“It’s more about the speed of the game and the tempo we need to hit. In our first game against Leinster the ball was in lay for 41 minutes and the highest speed metres we’ve had and then last week it was 28 minutes and our lowest speed. 

“Treviso slowed the ball down, slowed the game down and made it a slugfest, this team will make it into a sprint so we have to be ready for it.”

Following the Parma showdown, Cardiff Blues return to Cardiff Arms Park where they host Munster on Friday, September 21 (7.35pm). Tickets are available now by calling 029 20 3020 or clicking here.