Owen Lane believes there is a winning culture growing amongst the Cardiff Blues squad, which gives them confidence as the race for a top three finish in the Guinness PRO14 is set to go down to the wire.
The wing has been in scintillating form in recent weeks, and went into Friday’s derby encounter against Scarlets with six tries in the previous six games.
The academy product added two further tries against the west Wales-outfit, taking his tally for the season to double figures, as Cardiff Blues secured maximum points to remain level on points with third-placed Connacht.
Lane was joined on the scoresheet by Josh Turnbull and a brace from fellow wing, Aled Summerhill, as they blew Scarlets away with a 38-0 lead at the interval.
The former Wales under-20 international feels there is confidence amongst the group at the moment and insists the capacity crowd gave the home side a boost in the crucial encounter.
“We’re a young group, but, I speak for myself and hopefully for the others, we feel confident going into these derby games, which I’m not sure we’ve had in the past,” said Lane.
“We’re going into these games expecting to win and that’s really good for us as a group.
“We’re building a winning culture where you head into games expecting to win each time.
“I stepped out on the field tonight thinking we were going to win and to do that in the manner we did is really encouraging.
“The crowd also makes a huge difference, and all the boys will tell you that. There’s a real buzz around our games at the moment and there is a transfer from what the national team achieved in the last few weeks.
“It was lovely to see everyone get behind both sides and the crowds in these derby games adds anew dimension and I certainly thrive off that, and the other boys do too.
“To get that many points on the board in the first half and score five team tries is encouraging for us as a group. I think that showed when there was 40 minutes on the clock and we still wanted to go for another try.
“It’s really good to get the double on them and it’s always good to get a bragging rights against the other Welsh regions.
“The derbies are always exciting games to play in and we’re over the moon to come out on top against a strong Scarlets side.
“They’re known for playing a brand of rugby where they like to chuck the ball around, and I’d like to think that we do the same.
“The forwards do a job for us up-front and you can’t take anything away from them. It gives the likes of Jarrod and Chicken some time on the ball to create space for us out wide and let us loose.”
All three of Cardiff Blues’ remaining fixtures will see them come up against Conference A rivals in Munster, Connacht and Ospreys.
A top three finish would also see Wales’ Capital Region qualify for the end-of-season play-offs for the first time, and Lane insists the squad are prepared for the challenge ahead.
The wing said: “We’re in a position now where we’ll have to push until the end of the season. There’s going to be some sore bodies and days where we’ll be feeling rough, but hopefully we can come through on top and give it a good push for the top three and compete to win silverware.
“Hopefully as the weather keeps improving we can play a style of rugby that’s good to watch because I enjoy playing in those conditions and I know the other boys do too.
“We have some massive games coming up, especially away to Connacht considering where we both are in the table.
“We’ll enjoy the result tonight and come back in next week to work on what we can and prepare for two tough games in Ireland.
“We can’t worry about other team’s results, we just have to continue to look after ourselves and hopefully we’ll come out on top when the season does finish.”