Blog Banner

Young bitterly disappointed as Cardiff pay the price for erroneous display

First Team News | 28th January 2023

Dai Young was left bitterly disappointed as Cardiff paid the price for a lack of basic skills in Saturday’s defeat to Leinster.

The hosts ran in six tries in a dominant display at RDS Arena to maintain their perfect record in the 22/23 season.

Cardiff battled back with late scores from Rory Thornton and Kristian Dacey, but it was a case of too little, too late for the Blue and Blacks.

Young was frustrated that Cardiff failed to make it harder for their hosts in Dublin particularly due to an erroneous first half.

“We certainly made it a lot harder for ourselves. They’re a quality team but I thought we got taught a lesson in basic skills,” said the director of rugby.

“Their basic skills were so much better than ours. We turned the ball over 13 times in the first three phases for a multitude of reasons - forward passes, not straights, knock ons, kicks out on the full. 

“You don’t give yourself a chance to have a bit of respite and to put a bit of pressure on them. You just end up giving them the ball back.

“It was a very similar story to last week against Brive. The first 25 to 27 minutes was exactly the same.

“When you’re giving teams possession inside your 22, they’re going to end up scoring and that’s part and parcel of what happens on the back of poor skills which gives them the ball.

“We showed a bit of heart right at the end to come back but I don’t think we can tap ourselves on the back for that.”


A combination of injuries and international selection meant that Cardiff travelled to Dublin with more than 20 players unavailable.

However, with Cardiff set to host Benetton and Ulster during the course of the Guinness Six Nations Championship, Young has challenged the group of players at his disposal to bounce back from disappointment in the coming weeks.

The former Wales prop added: “I’m hugely disappointed, which we’ve said to the players, and we’ve got to be better than that. We played against a quality team but we made it a lot easier for them. 

“Obviously there’s a couple of players out there that haven’t played a lot of rugby recently, and I’m sure that’s something they will point to, but at the end of the day we’ve just got to be better. There’s no excuses for it.

“When you put the Cardiff jersey on, you’ve got to play better than that. That’s not saying we come to these places and win every time but we have to be able to cause teams problems, fire shots of our own and I certainly felt that we didn’t do that tonight.

“We didn’t allow ourselves to build any pressure or momentum through our own basic skills and then they’ve got all the possession. As hard as we work in defence, they’re going to ultimately get penetration and when they play off quick ball they’re very difficult to stop.

“Moving on, my hope is that we play better than that. But it’s not about hope because that has to be the case. It’s what I’ve said to them.

“A lot of those players have obviously been disappointed that they haven’t played more throughout the season, but it’s up to them to put their hands up and force their way into the teams. 

“I don’t think there’s going to be many guys coming back into that group over the Six Nations period so we have to stand up and be better than that because I don’t see us beating anybody on that type of performance.

“When we play to our best, it takes a good team to beat us, so we’ve got to get back very quickly to playing the rugby that we know that we can play.”