Cardiff Blues outside-half Gareth Anscombe is hoping Saturday’s European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final against Edinburgh Rugby at BT Murrayfield will prove third time lucky for the Welsh region.
Although the Blues won the competition in 2010, they have lost their last two quarter-finals in it – against Dragons in 2015 and Gloucester Rugby last season – both of which the Welsh international played in.
He told the Blues’ website: “Qualifying for the semi-final would be the biggest thing that we’ve achieved in a while and that’s something we’re aware of.
“I’ve played in two quarter-finals and we’ve lost both of them. Last year, when you look back at the game against Gloucester, we were pretty happy with how we were going after 50 minutes. We fell away from then on, which we are still bitterly disappointed with.
“If we can get a semi-final at the Arms Park, and I’d imagine we’d be able to sell it out, it would be a real positive for the region and one that the boys are really determined to achieve.
“Everyone will be coming to training this week with a real energy and buzz, because it’s exciting to be playing knockout rugby. That’s what we want to be doing.”
VIDEO | Start of a massive week as we build towards our European @ERChallengeCup quarter-final against @EdinburghRugby . Here @Gareth_Anscombe looks ahead to the showdown after returning to the @cardiff_blues squad following the @SixNationsRugby pic.twitter.com/qaaQnzcVB9
— Cardiff Blues (@cardiff_blues) March 26, 2018
However, Anscombe, who scored 17 points for the Blues as they topped Pool 2, knows they will have their work cut out to end Edinburgh’s five-match winning run.
The New Zealand-born 26-year-old said: “They’re turning things around over there and it’s going to be a tough ask away from home, but one we can be excited about and it’s a good opportunity for this group to try to play for some silverware.
“We need to make sure we don’t hurt ourselves with the ball and if we look after the ball and stay focused for 80 minutes, then we’ll give ourselves a really good chance.”