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Mulvihill sets sights on winning climax

Blues News | 2nd April 2019


John Mulvihill has booted the various Guinness PRO14 play-off permutations into touch and has set Cardiff Blues the target of consecutive victories in their final three regular season fixtures.

Wales’ Capital Region travel to Cork this weekend to take on Munster before another trip to Ireland to face Connacht and then the Ospreys on Judgement Day.

The Blues are locked in a battle with the latter two to reach the PRO14 play-offs and automatically qualify for the Heineken Champions Cup but they are going into their tough season climax in a rich vein of form.

Mulvihill’s men have won five of their last six fixtures and are behind Connacht, who travel to Zebre this weekend, on points difference only.

But Mulvihill was in bullish mood following a second bonus-point victory over the Scarlets and has urged his side to come out firing at Irish Independent Park.

He said:“If we win two from the next three, we will probably make it and if we win three, we will definitely get there so instead of taking all the calculations we need to go and win every game and that’s our focus.

“We had some good momentum from some of the boys coming back in from the international period (going into the Scarlets game) and they were obviously buzzing all week. Then for those guys to put their hands up for selection put a good feeling around the group.

“You couldn’t write the script, 38-0 at half-time and the real intent was just before half-time when we could have just kicked the ball out at 31-0 but we went for the jugular there and then and put them away in the first-half.

“We’ve only lost one game from the last six and that was back in January against Glasgow, we have a bit of good form, are really confident and that builds momentum.”

While Cardiff Blues had last weekend off, Munster booked their place in the Heineken Champions Cup semi-finals with a narrow victory over Edinburgh and remain fighting on two fronts.

They are chasing Glasgow in the PRO14 Conference A table, but the Blues kick-started their season with a victory over the Irish outfit in September and while Mulvihill is acutely aware of their quality, he knows his side have the firepower to prevail.

He added:“It was a different context back then because we had lost our first three games – Leinster by a point, two points in the other two games – so we were desperate for a performance. Jarrod Evans pulled out at 3 o’clock that afternoon and people had to step up but for us to get the performance we did was fantastic.

“That desperation is still there but it’s a bit different, now we are desperate to make finals. The drive is still there with the players.

“They have a really deep squad, they’re at home and need to win their games to finish on top and get a home final.

“We just have to keep playing the way we play, these guys are a really good, experienced team that has had success at the highest level. They had success last week and are still alive in two competitions, but we are going to turn up to play and put them under pressure.

“They score a lot of their points in the second-half, 40 per cent of their tries come in the last 20 minutes, so they grind teams away. We just need to go there with an attacking mindset both with and without the ball.”