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We can't ask for a better game to make a statement - Young

First Team News | 14th April 2022

Dai Young insists Sunday’s Challenge Cup clash against Saracens presents a great opportunity for Cardiff to make a statement following two disappointing defeats to Scarlets in recent weeks.

The Blue and Blacks head to London on Easter Sunday for knockout European rugby at the StoneX Stadium.

With Saracens sitting in second place in the Gallagher Premiership table, Young believes the task at hand should be motivation enough for his side but warns they must be at their best in London.

Young said: “We’re really looking forward to it. It’s a fantastic place to go to play and there’s always a good vibe there.

“You’re playing against one of the best teams in Europe so if you can’t get yourself up for these games you need to ask yourself questions.

“Turning your focus to a new competition, cup rugby with one opportunity and against a team like Saracens you need to focus your mind.

“There’s going to be a fear factor in going there and that comes from if you don’t play near your standard then it will be a tough afternoon.

“We’re really looking forward to it and it’s a great opportunity, when things haven’t gone well over the last couple of weeks.

“It’s a great opportunity to go somewhere, put our hand up and show we’re not as bad as some people suggest at the minute.

“Some of our home performances have certainly outweighed our away ones and you need to ask why that is.

“That’s something we’re working on but it’s a fantastic place to go and put that record straight.

“We know we’ll need to be at our best. They’re one of the best teams in Europe with quality across the board.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to go out there, play against one of the best teams and hopefully do ourselves proud.”

Young admits the squad’s pride took a blow during last week’s comprehensive defeat to Scarlets but insists the only place to do their talking is on the pitch.

“Nobody is hurting more here than the coaches, staff and players and we totally understand the frustration and disappointment of the supporters. That’s something we have to take on the chin,” added the director of rugby.

“The only way to rectify that is to go out there and put in better performances on the field. 

“We’re hurting just as much as them but we need to try and put the emotion to one side and look at the reality of the situation.

“Over the last three games, we’ve played really well for 40 minutes against Glasgow, which was enough on the night to get the win. We played really well at the Scarlets for 25 minutes but our game fell away and they started to dominate areas.

“For 35 minutes on the weekend we were the better team again. On 70 minutes it was 28-14. If it would’ve ended there, we still would’ve been disappointed to lose at home but certainly the last 10 minutes was disappointing, to concede that many points in that time. 

“Albeit it, on the back of having your centre on the flank and your hooker on the flank, we still should’ve been better than we were.

“The big thing for me is to look at those periods where we were dominant and playing well and figure out reasons why we can’t maintain that for the full 80 minutes.”