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Wilson frustrated with slender PRO14 defeat

6th January 2018

Danny Wilson was left frustrated following a second one-score Welsh derby defeat but admitted the result was a fair reflection of the Guinness PRO14 clash at the Liberty Stadium.

The Blues took an early lead at the Liberty Stadium thanks to an early Nick Williams try and were well in the encounter at half-time despite trailing by a score.

However, the Ospreys added to their two first-half tries as Rhys Webb crossed for his second and Justin Tipuric secured the bonus-point.

The result appeared beyond doubt but Wales’ Capital Region fought back with two further tries in the final 10 minutes from Owen Lane and Garyn Smith.

They pressed in the final minutes for a winning try, or kickable, penalty but the hosts hung on for the derby spoils. 

Wilson was hugely disappointed with the first 25 minutes of the second-half and although his side battled back it ultimately took its toll.

He said: “In the first-half we played reasonably well, giving ourselves an opportunity but for 25 minutes after half-time we were poor. 

The Ospreys owned field position and possession, and we constantly fed them and couldn’t put a foot right. That 25 minutes took its toll. 

“We went up the other end and scored two good tries and got ourselves back in the game so I’m proud of the effort to get back to a one-point game. We were chasing a try or penalty at the end to get the win but to be brutally honest had we won it would not have reflected the game.

“Credit to the boys to get back into the game and on another day perhaps we could have nicked it. It’s one we will definitely look back at and say it’s a missed opportunity.

“We’re frustrated, we had a decent win against the Dragons, we should have beaten the Scarlets and it’s come down to a one-point game against the Ospreys. 

“Ultimately it’s two losses, we were targeting two wins out of this period and unfortunately we’ve only got one win.”

The scrum struggled in Swansea and Dan Biggar and Rhys Webb both displayed their class in the encounter.

Wilson revealed tight-head prop Anton Peikrishvili had been struggling with a hamstring injury, which forced his early departure but he was pleased with the lineout.

He added: “The scrum was probably our biggest problem, we lost a tight-head after 25 minutes, he tried to carry on but his hamstring had gone.  He was trying to dig in with an injury but they smelt a bit of blood and went on the front foot. 

“Young Dillon has a couple of tough scrums but then they went for a push over try and we held them out well. There were glimpses of a decent scrum but on the whole they were better in that area. 

“I was really pleased with our one visit to their 22 when we scored from a lineout, set-piece move and we held them out I don’t know how many time. But that’s the problem you can’t defend that many drives and not be sapped of energy, which we were.”

Cardiff Blues now return to European Challenge Cup action with a decisive clash with Toulouse at Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday, January 14 (5.30pm). The Blues currently sit top of Pool 2, with two games remaining and can take a major stride towards the knockout stages by completing a historic double over the French giants. Tickets are available now and can be bought by clicking here or calling 029 20 302030.