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Young urges Cardiff to fire more attacking shots against Dragons

First Team News | 11th October 2022

Dai Young has urged his Cardiff side to fire more attacking shots as they prepare to welcome Dragons RFC to the capital for a fiery BKT United Rugby Championship Welsh derby on Saturday (KO 5.15pm).

With a total of 215 tackles completed, the Blue and Blacks showed plenty of defensive tenacity to claim an away win over Scarlets last week, as they resisted a late comeback effort from the hosts.

Young wants Cardiff to continue to show their fight for the jersey but hopes they will have more opportunities to show what they can do with ball-in-hand.

“We’re a bit battered and bruised, but we’re doing it with a smile on our faces and that’s the important thing," said the Director of Rugby.

“It was a real tough game but we showed a lot of togetherness, a lot of team spirit and a lot of pride in the jersey, because that’s a game we could’ve easily lost.

“We had our backs against the wall for big parts of the game so it was a performance to be proud of. The attitude was excellent.

“We didn’t get much opportunity to play a lot of rugby as we didn’t have the ball for big parts of the game, and obviously what you don’t want to do is make more than 200 tackles in a game because that’s unsustainable.

“So as pleased as we were with the performance and the result, going into the Dragons game we want to fire a lot more shots than we actually fired on the weekend and really take the game to them.

“That means that our set piece is going to have to be top draw, the tackle area is always huge against the Dragons and is something they really attack.

“We’re going to have to be really accurate to get into a position where we can play the game that we want to play because certainly what we don’t want to be doing again is making over 200 tackles because the dam will eventually burst.

“There was no lack of spirit, no lack of pride and everybody chucked everything into it. What we need is consistency in that and that’s what we need week-after-week.

“That has to be something that becomes part and parcel of our DNA. We’ve talked about it, and I thought we had it against Munster.

“We got steamrolled against Glasgow and we couldn’t handle their physicality, which meant we were always on the back foot. We couldn’t control the speed of the game and it quickly got away from us.

“Against the Lions, I thought it was a game we should have won. In the first half we should have been comfortable, but once they got their noses in front, they got the momentum and it was very hard for us to turn it around with their physicality.

“So I’m pleased with the performance but we need to back that up on a consistent basis.”

While Cardiff head into Saturday’s encounter with 13 consecutive league wins over their east Wales rivals, only five points have separated the sides across the last four meetings.

Young is braced for another tough encounter against the Dragons and knows his side must be at their best to secure the result.

The former Wales prop added: “We spoke about the Scarlets game being physical, but I think this game will be up there, if not even more physical again. 

“One thing you can always say about Dragons is that they roll their sleeves up and chuck themselves into every contact area. In every game we’ve played against them there’s been nothing in it except a couple of points here and there.

“We’ve come on the right side of those victories but we could’ve quite easily lost as well.

“So there’s nothing between us and it’s going to be very much a case of whoever turns up on the day.

“We’re expecting another tight game. Any of the Welsh teams can beat each other on any day. I don’t think there’s much between any of us.

“We got embarrassed against Scarlets last year, they were far too strong for us. Against the Dragons we were probably good for the win at home but away, at the end of the season, it was a game that we could’ve easily lost.

“It was one kick right at the end that was the difference, so there was nothing in that game and I don’t see much being in this game either.

“We want to keep the same spirit in defence, that’s the first thing, but you don’t want to be defending anywhere near as much as we were last week.”

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