Cardiff Rugby director of rugby Dai Young has warned that his side can perform at a higher level after whitewashing CA Brive at home in Round 1 of the EPCR Challenge Cup last Saturday.
The Welsh team scored seven tries in delivering the 41-0 drubbing at Cardiff Arms Park, but Young believes they need to do better at Newcastle Falcons this Saturday.
“We know we’ll have to go up a couple of gears to get a victory against Newcastle,” he said. “Yes, we won, but not being disrespectful, I think we were in third gear for most of the game and we’ll need to step up at least two gears next week.
“Newcastle are a good team and are very strong at home. I’m sure they’ll be giving this competition their best crack.”
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Young was especially happy with the clean sheet but is seeking improvement in the line-out at Kingston Park and wants his side to be more clinical.
“We would have settled for that before the game, but the nil is just as pleasing as the seven tries,” he said.
“Lots of things didn’t go as well as we would’ve liked. I wasn’t totally comfortable going in at half-time and I thought we should’ve had a few more points on the board in the first half.
“That first 10 minutes of the second half for me was huge, because if they’d have scored a try, then that could have fed their confidence and their belief.
“We scored some good tries and the defence held up – as did the set-piece. The scrum was good, we started off really well in the line-out and scored two driving line-out tries. We had some problems aerially in the line-out, which we need to sort out, but we’re confident we can do that.”
🗣 JOSH TURNBULL
"'O ni eisiau sgorio ceisiau a phrofi bo' ni'n dîm da" 🔵
Reaction from @JoshTurn6ull after Cardiff's victory on Saturday night. #ChallengeCupRugby | @Cardiff_Rugby | @laurenemmaj pic.twitter.com/Vm93yHYK6T
— S4C Rygbi (@S4CRygbi) December 12, 2022
Young is conscious of Cardiff’s fine record in the Challenge Cup, with the capital club having won the trophy twice – in 2010 and 2018.
“We spoke before the game that we’ve got good history in this competition,” he said. “If we can play some good rugby, there’s no reason why we can’t pick up some wins and if we can do that, who knows, we can get through to the knockout stages.
“But we’ll continue to take it one game at a time. I’ve told the players after the game that it’s very much half-time in this block. We’ve had a good first half, but we need to make sure we back it up next week.”