Blog Banner

No extra motivation needed for Murphy and Merthyr

Community | 18th April 2019

Ben Murphy insists there is no need for extra motivation as Merthyr RFC chase their second consecutive double.

Standing in their way are Cardiff RFC, as the sides are set to go head-to-head in next Sunday’s National Cup final at Principality Stadium.

Seven points currently separate the Ironmen and the Blue and Blacks, who have a game in-hand, on the top of the Principality Premiership.

Following defeat to third-placed Llandovery on Wednesday evening, Dale McIntosh’s side welcome Bedwas to the Wern on Saturday.

The lock believes the winning mentality and experience of players such as former Cardiff Blues outside half, Gareth Davies, and skipper Craig Locke will be crucial in the business end of the campaign.

“There’s maybe a bit of anxiousness around the camp at the moment, but every one is focused on getting prepared for a huge game against Cardiff in the final next Sunday,” said Murphy.

“We thrive on performing in the big games, and are known for living up to the hype.

“We won’t be taking any backwards steps on the day and we’ll be prepared.

“You have experienced boys like Craig Locke, Matthew Jarvis and Gareth Davies who have been involved in some pretty big games over the years but they’re the first to remind you to take one game at a time.

“They’ll be raring to go next Sunday, and there’s no need for extra motivation.

“We have Chief [Dale McIntosh], who is enough to pump anyone up for these games, but the leaders in the group are people you look up to, and that lifts the entire squad.

“Chief is a legend and a class coach to work for. He’s taught me a lot over the years, even as a youngster in the Cynon Valley, and is a tremendous coach.

“There will be buses after buses coming down from Merthyr, and a lot of Cardiff fans as well, and to also have fans of the other teams in there as well is going to make for a special atmosphere.

“We have a couple of Merthyr boys around the Cardiff Blues squad including the likes of Kristian Dacey and Tom James, and as you can imagine the banter with the Cardiff boys has started already.

“I’m sure it’s going to get worse and worse as the final comes closer and the run-in for the league heats up as well.”

Murphy, who came through the ranks at Abercynon before being selected for the region’s age grade sides, featured as a replacement for Cardiff Blues at last year’s Judgement Day clash against Ospreys - a week after his Guinness PRO14 debut against Ulster.

The lock is also proud to represent his local Premiership side, and is excited to play at Finals Day in the national stadium.

The Cardiff Blues forward said: “It will be my first time playing in the cup final in the stadium, and it’s going to be a massive occasion. I’ve obviously watched these occasions in the past and you can see how big the day is.

“I suffered an injury earlier this season, but it’s nice to be back playing for Merthyr, and I’m coming pretty close to my 100th appearance for the club.

“They’ve been an important part of my career since I was 18, and it’s always special to represent the club.

“The semi final was a stand-out moment, but as a group we really want to kick on and finish the competition with silverware.

“It was a dramatic game against Pontypool, and we got a red card just before half time which was contentious, but you can’t change anything now, and we got the all-important win on the day.”