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Young determined to sign off home season with performance that supporters can be proud of

First Team News | 29th April 2022

Dai Young wants Cardiff to sign off their home season with a performance and result that the supporters can be proud of against Zebre next week.

The Blue and Blacks welcome the Italians to the capital next Friday for the final Arms Park clash of the campaign, and head into the encounter on the back of a defeat in Cork against Munster.

Despite a spirited performance where Cardiff ran in three tries, the hosts eventually sealed all five points, thanks to braces from Mike Haley and Craig Casey.

Young doesn’t believe the result reflected Cardiff’s overall performance at Musgrave Park and has called on his side to take the positives out of the encounter.

“The scoreboard was unkind to us. It was a lot closer game than the scoreboard suggests,” explained the Director of Rugby.

“Munster were more clinical than us, when they had opportunities but the effort, commitment and energy was first class tonight.

“We pushed them a lot closer than the scoreboard suggests. A few exits went awry, which put us under pressure. That gave them opportunities to get points, as did the restarts. They got the first three restarts back after we scored.

“So we weren’t able to continue to put pressure on them and build momentum. We played some good stuff and left one or two try-scoring opportunities out there.

“But it was a huge step-up from where we’ve been over the last two weeks, in everything we did. 

“You’ve got to take the positives out of it. The scoreboard suggests it’s a heavy defeat but we were up against a very good team and pushed them really close.

“We’ll take the positives out of tonight, build on them and work on the things that let us down.

“We have a massive opportunity next week to say a big thank you to the supporters. We’ve had fantastic support at home and the last couple of performances haven’t been the way we wanted.

“But it’s an opportunity to say a big thank you with a real top performance and hopefully a good result.”

Cardiff travel back to Cork with a number of injuries, with the likes of Dillon Lewis, Rory Thornton and Hallam Amos all forced off at Musgrave Park.

With three games remaining, Young is confident that if his side can build on the positive aspects of the performance against Munster and finish the season strongly.

“We’ve played a lot of rugby. We’ve gone from playing no rugby to playing something like 10 on the bounce,” added the former Wales international.

“That’s starting to tell as we’re running out of numbers but we’ll patch people up and give them recovery.

“Hopefully we can come out with the same sort of intensity, energy and commitment and build on the positives that we saw tonight.

“I’m proud of the effort. Nobody likes losing, and the scoreboard suggests it was heavier defeat than it was.

“The biggest thing for us is that we perform. If we do that and give everything, but are still not good enough then we have to accept it.

“The disappointing factor of the last few weeks has been that we haven’t performed near where we can.

“Obviously the results are always disappointing if you don’t win but the performances have to be there.

“We believe that if we perform near our best then we’ll win a lot more than we’ll lose. Tonight there were good aspects to our game with one or two sloppy areas that we need to tighten before next week. But I’d certainly like to think that there are positives we can build on ahead of next week.

“You get confidence and belief from winning but there was a real determination tonight.

“People forget that the players also hurt, the same as the supporters. We’re all in this together.

“We all hurt and feel down and low after poor performances and results. But we need to stick together and come out of it. Hopefully we’re starting to get out of it and it would be good if we could get a couple of wins now.

“There’s three games left and three wins is what we’re aiming for but we’ll need to play at our best.”