Sam Beard insists Cardiff Blues A have remained focus on their own game, ahead of this weekend’s trip to Belfast.
Wales’ Capital Region suffered a defeat to defending champions, Leinster A, in the opening round of Celtic Cup action last week, but salvaged a try scoring bonus point thanks to second half scores from Edd Howley, Barney Nightingale and a Cameron Lewis brace.
Meanwhile, Saturday’s opponent, Ulster A, secured a dramatic last gasp victory over Scarlets A at Llandovery.
The former Dragons and Edinburgh centre, who will captain the young Blues side this weekend, expects a tough test at Malone RFC but remains confident that his side can improve from the outing against Leinster.
“We’re expecting Ulster to be another good side but we want to focus more on our game and what we can do,” said the 29-year-old.
“We know what we need to put right and that’s been our focus in training this week. We know that we need to be better this week because it was a bit of a rusty first performance.
“We probably need to hold onto the ball a bit longer during the first half, not try to force it too much and finish the game off in a similar way.
“The boys that came on brought good energy, brought some control into the game and if we can do that from the start this week, then we’ll be in good stead.
“We had three short sessions together before Leinster, and that was pretty obvious from the performance.
“Things weren’t quite clicking, but we’ve had a couple more training sessions and a match so hopefully we can fix those issues.”
The Timaru-born centre is relishing his role as captain of the young group and sees the value of the Celtic Cup in the development of the region’s promising youngsters.
Beard added: “It’s always exciting to watch some of these young lads coming through. They’re all full of beans and pretty keen to get out on the pitch.
“It’s good to be a part of their development and be able to lead them.
“Going away on trips like this, and being in a professional environment, is something they’re going to need to get used to if they are to progress to a higher level.
“But to be fair, a lot of them will have had those experiences during age grade rugby so the experience won’t be too new to them.”