Last minute hero Rhys Patchell admits the Cardiff Blues are looking forward to 'an awesome occasion' when they face Scarlets in the Guinness PRO12 on home soil on New Year's Day (kick-off 5pm).
It was derby day delight for Cardiff Blues against Newport Gwent Dragons on Sunday with Patchell slotting a late penalty to secure a comeback 21-20 win at Rodney Parade.
Danny Wilson’s men now face high-flying Scarlets at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on New Year’s Day and Patchell is determined to try and make it a double celebration in the Welsh derbies for Blues.
“We’re thrilled with the result at Dragons,” said Patchell. “But there is no time to enjoy it, the work starts now for New Year’s Day.
“It will be a great game and hopefully more running rugby than at Rodney Parade. Hopefully we will get a great crowd in and it will be an awesome occasion because the regional derbies are special.
“The Scarlets will be gutted they lost last minute against the Ospreys so they will be looking to put it right.
“In terms of the Dragons game - I’d rather win ugly than lose pretty,” he added.
“We have plenty to work on. Our kicking game fed them too much in the first half, but we knew they would come with line speed.
“We made a call that we needed to play more and the yellow card certainly helped us. Ironically, having said we needed to run, the penalty try got us back into the game with something we had practiced all week.
“That was the turning point, it meant they couldn’t fill the front line as much as they wanted and couldn’t come with as much line speed. Credit to Dan Fish and Tom James, they went down the blindside and a great try was scored.”
Looking back at his late kick, Patchell admitted he was just relieved to get another opportunity after missing a conversion from the same spot just minutes earlier.
“I thought I had cost the boys two points for a draw and I was gutted,” said Patchell.
“But luckily enough the second one went just inside the right upright – my little cousin will be thrilled because he jumped the fence and helped me practice kicking at the Arms Park on Christmas Day!
“The important thing was the boys gave me the opportunity to have that kick. We didn’t give up, carried on playing and I’m thrilled I gave us something to take from a local derby because we felt we were close against the Ospreys.”
Patchell will link up with Scarlets at the end of the season, but he insisted there would be no divided loyalties come match day on New Year’s Day.
“My job is to give everything I have every week for Cardiff Blues and as long as people can see I’m trying to do that I’m happy,” he said.
“The basics for rugby for me is not run, kick, pass – it’s every minute you’re on the pitch you give everything for the cause.
“I’m excited about the rest of the season at Cardiff Blues. Hopefully we have turned a corner these last few weeks with our performances and it’s an exciting time to be playing.”
Tickets to watch Cardiff Blues tackle Scarlets are on sale NOW. Call the Ticket Office on 02920 302030 or click HERE to buy online and join the derby day action in 2016!