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Young braced for a highly motivated Scarlets outfit

First Team News | 13th May 2021

Dai Young is prepared to face a highly motivated Scarlets side as Cardiff Blues travel to Llanelli on Saturday for the third round of Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup action.

Both sides head into the encounter on the back of victories last weekend, with Cardiff edging past Dragons at the Arms Park, while Scarlets secured a 22-6 home win over Ospreys.

However, following their win at Parc y Scarlets, it was confirmed that head coach Glenn Delaney had departed the club, with former Cardiff Blues outside half, Dai Flanagan, taking over on an interim basis.

Cardiff have already secured two victories over Scarlets earlier this season, and Young expects the hosts to be gunning for revenge on Saturday afternoon.

“It’s sad to see Glenn going at this stage of the season, but I’m sure there will be a number of players who will want to put in a performance for him,” said the director of rugby.

“They’re a quality team and their motivation will be on beating Cardiff Blues.

“There’s enough motivation for them there, they don’t need any extra. We’ve been lucky enough to pick up a couple of wins against them this season so I’m sure they’ll want to put that record straight.

“Dai Flanagan is a fantastic bloke and everything I’ve heard is that he’s a very good young coach.

“He will certainly be very proud of leading Scarlets although probably wouldn’t want the job in the situation he’s had it.

“You always get mixed emotions with that, but I’m sure he’ll put that to one side and do a great job of leading them.

“We’ve had a couple of tight games against them this season where we’ve come out on top and we’ve had to play our best rugby to do that.

“We’ve had to handle their physicality, front up, win the battle of the gain-line on both sides of the ball and take our opportunities.

“We know we’re going to have to be near our best, we know they’ll have a little bit of extra motivation and we know how disappointed they were when we came away with tight victories against them.”

Despite being reduced to 13 men at one stage of the match, Teddy Williams’ late converted try was enough for Cardiff to secure a dramatic victory over Dragons last week.

Reflecting on the encounter, Young insists his side must improve their discipline and also expects to welcome a couple more faces into the matchday squad this week.

The former Cardiff, Wales and Lions prop added: “Having looked back at the game two or three times since Sunday, I still reflect on it the same way I did straight after the final whistle.

“For the first 35 minutes we played as well as I’ve seen us play since I’ve been here. We were on top in the set piece, defensively we were very strong, we weren’t giving Dragons opportunities and we scored a really good try.

“What we should’ve done was get more of a score on the board. We left at least one opportunity out there and going into half time the scoreline probably flattered the Dragons a little bit. We should’ve been a bit more in front.

“But in saying that it was a game of two halves. They came out strong but we didn’t help our own cause by giving away a number of penalties early doors and putting ourselves under pressure.

“Ultimately that led to red and yellow cards, and we were hanging in there for the next 20 or 25 minutes. 

“We had two turnovers inside our 22 when the Dragons were in front, which were crucial and game-changing. If they had managed another score, it probably would’ve been a mountain too high for us to climb.

“I was really pleased with the last 10 minutes where we found a way to win. It looked like we’d learnt lessons from the games against Munster, Connacht and London Irish and we handled the last few minutes pretty well.

“It was a game of two halves but it’s always nice to come away with a win.

“It will be a pretty similar side again this week, but with one or two to come back in. Someone like Corey Domachowski will come back into the mix, as will the two number nines.

“We’re still waiting on a couple of boys as it’s still in the early part of a six-day turnaround, and there were a few bumps and bruises from the weekend.

“Predominantly the 23 will be very similar again and by then we’ll know where we are with Owen Lane’s suspension, but he might not feature.

“But otherwise we didn’t pick up too many injuries. Max Llewellyn has gone for a scan after coming off with his shoulder so we’ve got our fingers crossed with that.”