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Cardiff Blues hope to be boosted by the return of Gareth Anscombe for their European Rugby Challenge Cup clash with Bristol Rugby.
The Ashton Gate outfit head over the Severn Bridge to take on the Blues who still have hopes of making the quarter-finals.
Bath sit top of Pool 4, a point ahead of the Blues, and face Pau in their final tie. But the Welsh region can still go through as pool winners or best runners-up, with their head coach Danny Wilson helped by the availability of a number of key men.
The Blues have struggled with injuries this season, but Rhys Gill, Kristian Dacey, Nick Williams and Wales star Anscombe are all back fit, while Blaine Scully is also available.
“We're hoping to have a few back. Blaine will be available and Gareth Anscombe and Nick Williams have trained fully this week,” Wilson said.
“Up until last week we had 18 players unavailable so if we get four or five back it's good timing ahead of an important home game. They will get into the training week and have several stages they have to pass but it's so far, so good.”
Anscombe’s availability could create a selection headache for Wilson after Steve Shingler booted the Blues to victory in Pau last weekend.
But the boss of Wales' capital region is focusing only on what his team are doing and not Bath’s result.
“There are still a few permutations that can play out but we have to get away from that,” he said.
“We need to focus on one thing and one thing only and that's a home win. We need a home win to make the quarter-finals.
“If we win then we make a quarter-final and that's a great achievement for us at the moment. Last season we didn't get close to that, so in this competition it's a big improvement.
“We've won four out of five games and we've now got the opportunity to secure a quarter-final at home against Bristol.”
Bristol were hammered by Bath last time out and can’t make the last eight, but in Tom Varndell they possess one of the tournament’s most dangerous runners.
“As long as we learn something from a loss, then we can grow and move forward,” said prop Jack O'Connell.
“I think the lessons have been taken on and it's been a good week's training with some good messages from the coaches. We just need to go out on Saturday now and show we've listened.”
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Cardiff Blues reached the quarter-finals of the European Rugby Challenge Cup with a 37-21 victory over Bristol Rugby at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park.
The Blues will face either the Ospreys or Gloucester in the last eight, depending on the result of Sunday’s game between Harlequins and Stade Francais in Paris.
If Quins win the Blues will face fellow Welsh side the Ospreys, but a Stade success would see them visit the Cherry and Whites. Either way, Wales’ capital region will be on the road in the knock-out stages.
Their win over Bristol came thanks to two tries from Matthew Morgan – his second a wonderful solo strike – and first-half efforts from Kristian Dacey and Gareth Anscombe. Sam Warburton, set up by Morgan, completed the victory late on.
A scoreless first quarter had seen Bristol have plenty of ball with centre Tusi Pisi their main threat. Fly-half Adrian Jarvis had also missed with a penalty effort he should have converted and once the Blues got their first score, they continued to dominate.
Hooker Dacey got things going, diving over from close range after repeated bursts from Nick Williams among others. Steve Shingler put the conversion wide, but Bristol’s wastefulness was then shown as Cardiff added their second score.
It was the Ashton Gate outfit who were on the attack but in midfield, a long pass from visiting flanker Nick Koster was picked off by Anscombe. Despite only just returning from a groin operation, the New Zealand-born Welshman sprinted clear from halfway to score under the posts.
Shingler converted that score and then kicked a 31st minute penalty to make it 15-0 but despite boasting a comfortable lead, Danny Wilson’s men then threw it away through two mistakes.
First a superb break from Bristol scrum-half Andy Uren – through some albeit weak Blues tackling – allowed Welshman Jordan Williams to score under the posts and then just seven minutes later, the visitors were over again.
Shingler’s loose pass was hacked on by Jordan Williams, the former Scarlet then finding Jack Tovey who saw a nice bounce of the ball give him another simple finish. Jarvis converted both sets of extras to leave Bristol with just a one-point deficit at the break.
The Blues knew at half time they had already made the last eight, but they started the second half with a bang.
Alex Cuthbert bounced a couple of tacklers and Morgan’s first try, which was unconverted, put them back ahead.
To their credit Wilson’s outfit were playing some nice stuff but as they attempted to push for more tries, another mistake saw Bristol strike back.
The game was following a familiar pattern and with the Blues once again on the attack, Ray Lee-Lo’s pass was intercepted by Jordan Williams who sprinted clear from inside his own half and outpaced Morgan to score.
Jarvis converted and for the first time, Bristol were ahead.
It was ebb and flow in the second half but after Shingler booted another penalty, the Blues finally put the game to bed. Morgan’s arcing run after collecting a clearance kick saw him scythe through the Bristol defence for a bonus-point score which showed the pint-sized full-back at his absolute best.
It came after replacement hooker Max Crumpton had been yellow carded for slowing the ball down at a ruck following a break from Cardiff substitute Tomos Williams.
Morgan was now on fire and with the game won, he allowed Warburton to get the game’s final try.
Shingler converted to leave the Blues with a quarter-final to look forward to.
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