Blog Banner

Sherratt urges Cardiff to restore faith in derby showdown

First Team News | 20th April 2022

Matt Sherratt believes Cardiff have the perfect opportunity to “right some wrongs” and make a statement when they take on the Ospreys at the Arms Park on Saturday (5.15pm).

The Blue and Blacks welcome the Swansea-based club to the Arms Park in the United Rugby Championship for the first time since 2013, and on the back of a disappointing run of form. 

They crashed to consecutive derby defeats to the Scarlets before restoring some pride in a much improved European performance against Saracens, albeit in another loss.

However Sherratt is now relishing the chance to make some amends and give the Arms Park faithful something to celebrate against his former team.

He said: “Every derby is a special game and we probably need to right a few wrongs.

“It’s completely different this week because we performed pretty well against Saracens. Obviously it’s well known how powerful they are and how good their squad is, so we concentrated on being the best version of ourselves and seeing where that took us and it took us pretty close to a famous win.

“It was quite nice after the two Scarlets games to have a change of competition. The disappointing thing about Scarlets was the nature of the second halves - we didn’t do ourselves justice, we know that and this week is about trying to put that right in another derby. 

“We are desperate to get a good home win under our belts. The Ospreys will present a different challenge to the Scarlets. There was a lot of questions being asked after the Scarlets games, internally and outside the group but it’s the perfect opportunity to put that right this weekend against a good Ospreys side. 

“As a team we have to make sure we give the crowd something to get behind and once we give them that, they will get right behind us and they make a huge difference for us. In the first five or 10 minutes we have to give them something.”


Sherratt spent the 2018-19 season as backs and attack coach before moving to Worcester Warriors, where he spent two campaigns.

And while he knows a lot of the Ospreys squad well, he also points to plenty of change and is more focussed on Arms Park affairs.

He is acutely aware of what to expect come 5.15pm on Saturday and he knows the Blue and Blacks must get back to their best and perform for the full 80.

He continued: “Every time you play against someone you’ve coached previously it’s a little bit more familiar. I wouldn’t say that it gives you any more nerves or edge, you don’t work any harder, you just know some of the players. 

“But it’s changed a lot since I was last there. The coaching staff has changed and quite a number of their players have changed. (Rhys) Webb wasn’t there when I was, I know (Gareth) Anscombe and (Alex) Cuthbert from my time with Cardiff but there has been a fair bit of change. 


“The obvious threat is their pack, there’s no point hiding from that. They have a very good set-piece and if you give them ins to your 22 and they can get their maul and scrum working. 

“But I don’t buy into the narrative about the Ospreys being just a pack, they have two British Lions in the back-line, Gareth Anscombe, pace on the wings and (Michael) Collins who has played Super Rugby successfully. They have a very good all round team.

“The main thing for us is some consistency. I’ll just talk about attack and we’ve score 33 points at the weekend, 30 points plus against Leinster and Glasgow, some really good sides but the frustration is it’s not been consistent and you can add that to a lot of areas to our game. 

“It’s just getting the mindset right, making sure the players are fresh and confident going into the final games and trying to repeat in bigger periods what we did against the Scarlets for the first 20 minutes in both games and what we did for the majority at the weekend. If we can do that, it will take a decent side to beat us. That’s the plan.

“We were really disappointed after Scarlets and we have something to prove as a club. Having the Ospreys at home, the first time since 2013, is the perfect game to do that.”

Despite a hugely disrupted season due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its subsequent issues, plus a series of disappointed series of results, Sherratt has enjoyed his return to the Welsh capital and is excited for the future. 

There is plenty of frustration but the former fly-half is determined to finish the season on a high. 

The Blue and Blacks still have an outside chance of clinching the Welsh Shield but need other results to go their way and for Sherratt it is more a case of giving something back to the supporters, building consistency and taking some momentum into the 2022-23 season. 

He added: “I love coaching Cardiff - it’s a great club and a great city. I’ve enjoyed the move back, there’s good people here and its a good city. 

“In terms of rugby we have been frustrated with the consistency of our game but that’s probably been matched with the consistency of the season. 

“We had a five-week block to start where we got a little bit of consistency and won three out of five, we then had the South African experience, came back and had two Welsh derbies cancelled. It has been a season where every time  you think you can get going, something stops it. That’s not an excuse but it definitely hasn’t helped with consistency. 

“If you look at teams that have had very little turnover or the coaching group has stayed the same, they are not going to drop off massively because the players are well versed in what they are trying to do. 

“It’s been hard to implement new things and have a lot of change in terms of the Covid issues and internationals coming in and out. But hopefully we have a run of games now and we can start to see more consistency.

“It’s really important that we finish this season well and that’s not a “coachy” thing to say. 

“We can really make the rest of this season build into next. We have four or five players coming in, it will be the second year as a coaching staff and the majority of the group have been together. 

“I want to finish this season as well as possible and get some consistency. Hopefully now with the nature of the league and the Covid issues being less of a problem, we’ll get much more consistency next season.” 

Cardiff take on the Ospreys at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday, April 23 at 5.15pm. Tickets are available now by calling 029 20 302030 or clicking here.