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Young pleased with hard-fought win but calls for further improvement

First Team News | 13th May 2022

Dai Young was pleased to come away with a hard-fought victory against a determined Dragons side on Friday, but insists Cardiff still have room for improvement.

The Blue and Blacks sealed their first away win of the campaign as Rhys Priestland and Lloyd Williams helped them to a one-point derby win over the hosts at Rodney Parade.

Dragons had a late opportunity to win it, but young outside half Will Reed was off target with a last minute penalty attempt.

Young had full sympathy for the Wales under-20 international but was disappointed that the home side were given the opportunity to snatch a late winner, having seen his side four points up with 10 minutes remaining.

“We’ve got that first away win of the season. We said a couple of weeks ago that we want to finish the season on a firmer foot than we’ve been over the last couple of months and the home win against Zebre was really important,” explained the director of rugby.

“As was coming down here and getting a derby win. A lot of results haven’t differed much from last year apart from the derbies.

“So it was important to get a derby win and it was important to get an away win.

“There wasn’t much in the game and you’ve got to feel for the youngster with a kick like that. If it had gone over then they would’ve obviously won, so there was nothing in the game.

“We got ourselves, with 10 minutes to go, four points up and you’ve got to win those games. But we did our best to throw it away at the end.

“There were a lot of mistakes at the end from both teams but we’re happy to get the win. It’s not an easy place to come and win but we still need to be better in a lot of areas.

“We over-played in the first half, weren’t going anywhere and then went to the air a bit more. In the second half we were better, did the basics better and put the Dragons under more pressure. 

“We got ourselves to, what should’ve been, a winning margin and did our best to throw it away.”

Scrum half Lloyd Williams was named Player of the Match in Newport, with his first half try ultimately proving to be a decisive moment in the clash.

The score takes the Welsh international to four tries in his last four outings, and his overall tally to 40 in the Blue and Black jersey.

Young praised the scrum half for his performance and application, but admits he might be forced into making changes ahead of the season finale in Treviso next week.

Young added: “Lloyd is someone who looks after himself really well, is a top professional and a good role model for everyone else.

“You don’t see him having many poor games. Some he’ll be better than others but very few are poor.

“He was good again tonight, does his exits really well and gets the team moving forward.

“In the first half, we struggled to break them down despite having lots of ball. But we were lateral without penetration.

“We should’ve gone to the air a bit more but we were better in the second half.

“We’ll be making a few changes next week because a lot of boys limped to the start line today. We’ve had 12 games on the bounce, going from no games at all. We didn’t train much this week to make sure we got to the start line.

“I’m sure we’ll be making a few changes next week and if we can get another away win then happy days. But at this moment in time we’re just happy to have come here and get the win.”