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Mulvihill wants consistency as Cardiff Blues target clean sweep in festive derbies

3rd January 2019

John Mulvihill wants to see Cardiff Blues pick up where they left off, as they target a clean sweep in the Guinness PRO14 festive derbies.

Following back-to-back victories over Dragons and Scarlets, Wales’ Capital Region travel to Swansea on Saturday, looking for a first away win against Ospreys since December 2005.

After last week’s bonus point win at Parc y Scarlets, the head coach says his side are hungry to climb up the Conference A table, and press the claim for a place in next season's top European competition.

“We’ve got Ospreys this week, and I don’t think we’ve won down there for more than 10 years, so that’s something that will be in the back of our minds,” said the Australian.

“We went to Llanelli, did the job and stuck to script. If we back that up this week, then we will have an opportunity to come away from all three regions with a win. 

“The win against Scarlets is definitely up there with the Lyon game and the Munster game, but was a little bit different as a contest.

“It was a complete 80-minute performance from us and that's something we can take out of it going forward.

“Ospreys are the team that kick the most in the competition, and the boys will have an idea about their attacking style because Matt Sherratt was here last year.

“We’ll be aware of little nuances he’s brought in, but they’ve played a similar style of rugby throughout the season.

“They’ve had the same core of people, and have been strong by targeting their home games and I’m sure they’ll be ready to target us this weekend.”

The trio of festive derbies have been sandwiched in between four rounds of Heineken Champions Cup action, as Cardiff Blues’ pool stage campaign will come to an end with clashes against Glasgow Warriors and Lyon.

Mulvihill believes the back-to-back encounters against Saracens set the tone for his side’s physicality ahead of the derbies, as they look to maintain consistency on the pitch.

Mulvihill said: “The club hasn’t tasted that ferocity of rugby in five or six years and after having that taste of it, we want to stay involved with it.

“That’s why we have to quickly turn our attention to the PRO14 because we have to reach the play-offs, and the top three, to make sure we’re in next year.

“If you can match that physicality every week, then you’ll become a pretty tough team to beat.

“After the double header against Saracens, that’s what we took into the Dragons game, and we backed it up again at Scarlets. Backing up performances is the key to success in this part of the season.

“We’re building really nicely in this part of the season. We’ve rotated the squad quite well, but for this part of the year we’re looking to keep a similar side, with only one or two changes per game.

“The boys are coming into work, enjoying it and have also had a bit of time off too.

“We’re really striking a balance with our training sessions as well, and managing that quite well, so the boys are in good form and most of the group are in good health.”