Danny Wilson has set his sights on a third place finish after Cardiff Blues claimed a fourth consecutive Guinness PRO14 victory with a bonus-point win over Benetton Rugby.
Despite a slow start the Blues led 17-13 at the break at Cardiff Arms Park thanks to tries from Owen Lane and Olly Robinson.
They started the second-half well with Ellis Jenkins claiming his side’s third but they were struck by a succession of injuries, which derailed their charge.
With Lloyd Williams departing at half-time due to injury and Tomos Williams failing a HIA, the Blues were left with no scrum-half. Jarrod Evans temporarily filled in but after that failed to work, back-row Jenkins took on the role for the final 20 minutes.
Wilson’s side wrapped up the bonus-point thanks to Nick Williams from close-range but they had to soak up plenty of pressure in the closing stages with Willis Halaholo and Olly Robinson also suffering knocks.
Wilson said: “It was one of the strangest games I have been involved in but the important thing is we set ourselves a target in this block of four out of four and we’ve achieved that goal with a bonus-point win today.
“It was probably our worst performance in the four games and on top of that we had a series of injuries which took the flow out of the game. By 54 minutes we have lost both of our 9s and we really lose our shape.
“I thought Ellis delivered well at nine to be fair and the boys adapted to a difficult situation really well.
“I’m pleased with the character the boys showed and the commitment to stick in there. We scored four tries and if we keep a nine on the field we pull away from them.
“A bonus-point win at home, four wins from four and we are still hot on the tails of the Cheetahs.”
The Blues have four remaining regular season matches remaining and next week’s clash with Ulster could be the last of the campaign at Cardiff Arms Park.
A fifth consecutive PRO14 victory would keep them in the hunt for the play-offs before a double in South Africa and Judgement Day against the Ospreys, and Wilson is well aware of the magnitude of the clash.
He added: “Next Saturday is our last Arms Park game of the season, we play Ulster and we will need to perform better to beat them.
“But we are going into it knowing it’s an important one to keep that gap between the sides below us but more importantly we’re looking up, we’re chasing the Cheetahs and we want to be in a play-off position.
“Qualification for Europe has been the goal during my time here and we’re working towards that but we want to one better.”
Cardiff Blues take on Ulster Rugby on Saturday, March 24 at Cardiff Arms Park, kicking off at 3.15pm. Help us #PackCAP in this vital encounter in our last game of the season at our iconic home ground. Click here for tickets or call 029 20 302030!