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Young expects a formidable Welsh derby showdown

First Team News | 6th January 2023

Dai Young has warned Cardiff to expect a fired up and confident Scarlets at Saturday’s BKT United Rugby Championship derby. 

The Scarlets arrive at Cardiff Arms Park on the back of three victories in their last four fixtures, having endured a difficult start to the season. 

They triumphed over the Dragons last week, despite spending the majority of the game down to 14, and cruised to victory during their last visit to the capital. 

With the Blue and Blacks sat at the top of the Welsh Shield and determined to finish a block of three consecutive derbies on a high, it is set to be another full-blooded encounter in front of a bumper Arms Park and Young is relishing the opportunity.

He said: “We’re expecting another good crowd so it will be a big occasion. 

“We were disappointed last week. It’s always disappointing to lose a home game but we’ve got an opportunity to put that right this week against the Scarlets, who we know are a formidable outfit. Last time they played at the Arms Park, they did a real job on us. 

“We know we will have to be on our mettle and play as well as we can to get the result. They’ve had a lot of players back from injury over the last couple of weeks and you have seen that right across all the regions. If you can get your best team on the field, we all take some beating but three or four injuries and all of a sudden those narrow wins turn to narrow losses. 

“We’re expecting nothing else but a real tough game against a real good team.  But we are concentrating on ourselves first, getting our things right and playing the game that we want to try to play. But we know how good the Scarlets can be as well.”

Cardiff were starved of possession in atrocious conditions last week as the Ospreys flexed their set-piece muscle. 

Young expects more rugby to be played on this occasion but he is acutely aware that the Blue and Blacks must play with a greater level of discipline to prevail. 

He added:  “The Scarlets will play more rugby than the Ospreys. But we need to be far more disciplined, get more possession and play in the right areas of the field, which we failed to do last week. 

“Against the Dragons, the Scarlets kept the ball well. If you want to take advantage (of the opposition being a man down), then you have to have the ball. That extra man only counts if you have the ball but the Scarlets controlled the ball really well. 

“They will take a lot of confidence and a lot of belief out of that win because sometimes, and we’ve been there, you take three or four steps backwards to find your foot in behind you and use that as a springboard to move forward. I’m sure the Scarlets believe they have gone through that process and in the last couple of weeks they’ve started to move forward so this will be a big game for them. 

“They won’t be afraid of coming here and getting a result and they probably feel they’ve turned their season around after a couple of good result, and an excellent result on the weekend. It’s up to us to stop that.”

Tickets for Cardiff versus Scarlets are limited at Cardiff Arms Park but can be purchased by calling 029 20 302030 or clicking here.