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Sherratt pinpoints key areas in search of win

First Team News | 17th April 2024

Head coach Matt Sherratt has pinpointed a couple of key areas to turn Cardiff’s narrow losses into victories as the Blue and Blacks prepare for their BKT United Rugby Championship match against Ulster on Friday at night at the Kingspan Stadium.

The team recently put in impressive away performances against Glasgow and Munster but fell just short on both occasions, with Sherratt hoping the small tweaks will finally get Cardiff over the line.

“We have spoken over the last couple of weeks about turning one point into four points,” said Sherratt.

“Who knows how you get to that in terms of whether it's a brilliant or a scrappy performance, but I think what has been good for me over the last two weeks in particular, we obviously went to Glasgow away, got points, went to Munster and got a point.

“We’ve had a week off and I've probably had a decision to make in terms of do we come back in and be pleased that we got a point, and there was an element of satisfaction with being away from home and coming back with something.

“Then I probably quickly had to switch our mindset to what are the couple of things that we can do as a team to turn one point into four points because you've got to be performance-based and sometimes you playing at your best doesn't mean you're going win, they might play their best and be a little bit better.

“I think the good thing is we have found a couple of things that we can improve, that can turn one point into four.

“We've had a real focus on just improving a couple of aspects of our game, and they're not big things, but hopefully we'll turn some of these close losses into wins.”

Number eight Toby Faletau was injured playing for Wales in the Rugby World Cup and has been unavailable for the Blue and Blacks all season.

Faletau is now back in training and in contention to face Ulster which has provided a big boost to the side.

“We've got a training session left Thursday, but Toby will be in and around it this week, which is brilliant. He’s a Rolls Royce player.

“He's out there running around and he gets the best out of everyone else as well. So brilliant for Toby to be back and credit to him as well.

“He's obviously been quite a long route back and he's had to show a lot of his character and resilience to get back out there.

“It’s brilliant to have him back for Toby and for the rest of the group. You can see when he's back around it, the likes of Mackenzie Martin and Alex Mann get a pick up. Who doesn't want to play with Toby Faletau: he's a brilliant player.

Ulster have changed their head coach since Cardiff last played the Belfast outfit, but Sherratt says he is expecting to face a similar style of play as under their previous coach.

“They've obviously had a change of coach in the last probably five or six weeks,” added Sherratt.

“Dan McFarland was there before and this is probably where you look at a team and see if there's any changes to their DNA.

“Dan McFarland is a very good coach and done a great job at Ulster, but he's more forward orientated.

“Ulster have always had a very good driving line out, their fundamentals are very good.

“Now are they going to change the way they've played? If I'm honest I've not seen a huge shift in the way they play. They're still fairly physical in terms of the way they try and own the game line when they've got the ball with a good forward pack.

“I've not seen a huge change in how they've played in terms of their change of coach. They're still an Ulster team that I've probably prepped for the last two or three seasons.”