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We need to get back to basics says James

Pathway | 31st August 2019

Aled James insists Cardiff Blues A must simplify their game-plan ahead of this evening’s Celtic Cup clash against Ulster A.

Wales’ Capital Region opened their campaign with a defeat to defending champions, Leinster A, but a spirited second half saw them salvage a bonus point at the Arms Park.

Eight changes have been made for tonight’s encounter at Malone RFC, and James says his side must concentrate on themselves at Belfast.

“Training this week has been very simple, and we’ve gone back to the basics,” said the backs coach.

“As coaches, we probably tried to push too much last week, where the reality was that we only had two sessions under our belts before the game.

“We want to do the little things really well this week, play to our strengths and also react to what’s in front of us and that’s been the message all week.

“The same as any other Irish side, we’re expecting a big forward pack who will like to drive from the line-out and they’ll be physical.

“But we want to concentrate on ourselves this week, and keep to the simple things in order to put in a good performance.

“We did gift Leinster a few tries due to our own errors and we weren’t accurate enough last week.

“We were unable to generate quick ball and that means we were on the back-foot.

“We were pleased with how we finished and how took those opportunities in the second half but we can’t afford to gift Ulster tries in a similar way to last week.”

The former Wales rugby league international, who also heads up Cardiff Blues’ under-18 side with Craig Everett, believes the opportunity to experience a professional environment is invaluable to the young players involved. 

James added: “These experiences are massive for these boys, and Gethin has managed to set a good environment for these boys to realise that this is Cardiff Blues they’re representing.

“We’ve given them an environment where they are representing Cardiff Blues, and hopefully this experience will make them better players and test themselves at a higher level.

“They’ve been told about our values here and it’s another reward for them to play at a high level, get exposure and taste life as a professional player, especially on away trips like this.

“It’s about replicating what the senior team do when they go away like this, and gives them an experience they might not have had before.”