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Cardiff head to Llanelli with score to settle – Young

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Dai Young admits Cardiff will travel to Llanelli with a score to settle after suffering a double defeat to Scarlets last season.

The Blue and Blacks will be heading to Parc y Scarlets looking to bounce back after consecutive defeats in the BKT United Rugby Championship to Glasgow Warriors and Emirates Lions.

Young revealed the defeat to South African outfit Lions was particularly frustrating, having failed to capitalise on a dominant first half display, but insists that his outfit are now fully focused on the task ahead in Llanelli.

The Director of Rugby explained: “As coaches we can obviously work on the game-plan, we can work on the tactics in the game and be accountable for selection. But once they go across the whitewash, it’s over to them to perform at the levels that they want and feel they can perform at.

“So yes, we were very disappointed on Friday night, we had a good chat after the game and wanted to have a good week of training this week to go down there and try to do a job on the Scarlets.

“We felt they were far better than us on the two occasions we played them last year, and we probably have a bit of a score to settle.

“They will also be really eager to get their season going, so we know it’s going to be a tough, tough game and that’s what we were hoping the focus would be this week.

“Obviously a little bit of an edge has been taken off that due to other matters, so we have tried to address it when it’s needed to be addressed, while obviously trying to get back on page with the rugby.

“We’ve got to address our preparations with the rugby. We were disappointed with the performance on Friday because it was a game I felt we should’ve won. 

“We were comfortable up until half time but didn’t get the scoreboard to be anywhere near as favourable as it should’ve been.

“Then in the second half, the basic errors and the penalty count, of which we thought some were harsh but others were penalties, meant we didn’t have the ball and we were under pressure.

“So I was disappointed in our performance, especially in the second half and the way we didn’t really win the game.”

Young also warned his side of Scarlets’ power up-front and knows Cardiff must be ready to match the Llanelli outfit at the set-piece.

He added: “We know the Scarlets will be dangerous enough in derbies and we all get up for these games. Sometimes form can go out of the window, but as we said last season, we really struggled to cope with their non-Welsh contingent up front.

“They over-powered us and that’s the first thing we’ve got to do is get parity up front because, as I just said, they were hugely prominent.

“We’re looking forward to a good performance on the weekend and to hopefully getting a result. I don’t think Friday was all doom-and-gloom. There were parts of it but Friday was more frustrating than anything else.”

Content & Images from – Cardiff Rugby


URC

Goosen and Carr return as Vodacom Bulls travel to Griffons

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The Vodacom Bulls have welcomed back the services of Johan Goosen and Nizaam Carr for round 4 of the 2023 Currie Cup campaign. The Pretoria outfit travels to the Down Touch Investments Stadium, where they will take on the Novavit Griffons on Friday [31 March 2023] afternoon.

Kick-off for the clash is set for 15h00pm.

Flyhalf, Goosen was sidelined due to shoulder surgery whilst Carr (flanker) nursed a hamstring niggle. The pair are the only two changes made by coach, Edgar Marutlulle to the starting XV that did duty against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein, a week ago.

Carr will line up alongside Phumzile Maqondwana and Muller Uys in the back row, in an otherwise unchanged forwards pack that includes captain Lizo Gqoboka, Jan Hendrik Wessels, Robert Hunt, Jacques Du Plessis and Reinhardt Ludwig. Goosen will join Keagan Johannes to combine as the two halfbacks in Welkom whilst Lionel Mapoe and Wandisile Simelane combine at centre. Kabelo Mokoena (left) and Quewin Nortje (right) will burn the gas burners from the wing with Franco Knoetze serving at fullback.

On the bench, Jacques van Rooyen and Simphiwe Matanzima have swapped locations, as van Rooyen joins the European squad with Matanzima reuniting with the South African camp, for family reasons. JP Alberts and Adriaan Joubert are the only other two changes made to the bench.

Marutlulle said that having Johan and Carr return was a welcomed boost for the club.

“If anyone offers you Goosen for your Currie Cup game, you take him at the blink of an eye. He is a world-class player who has travelled the world, represented the Springboks and played really amazing rugby in his career and so we are excited to have him with us for the Currie Cup,”

“I think when some people call you a prodigal interms of sport, where Johan has been earmarked since the age of 16,17 and there has always been that pressure of performance which he has shown at times. He has gone on to win two ‘Player of the Year’ awards during his time at the Top14 in France,”

“As a new coaching staff, we have the ability to give Johan freshness, the opportunity to give him space and a new voice where this team becomes the place where he can relax because he knows this is not the penultimate of rugby.”

On Nizaam moving between blind-side, open-side and eighth man, the Currie Cup mentor said: “We know Nizaam can play all around [6, 7, 8], he has enough adequate skills that bring us the all-important balance that we need in that back row. Supported by the likes of Phumzile who has done well in the opportunities he has gotten,”

On the challenge that awaits in Welkom, Marutlulle said: “I think this is the first time we have been able to put together a similar team together for two weekends in a row, and this is always the challenge of a franchise team. Finding consistency in selection and match-to-match performance. So we are hoping to begin seeing that cohesion and those relationships building through, continuing our momentum from the game last week,”

“We expect a difficult challenge from the Griffons in terms of what they offer physically, they have a 10 that can kick well and a 9 that can also kick for posts. They really have a mixed bag in terms of the style that they bring to the Currie Cup but we are excited for the challenge and we are really looking forward to growing and improving on last weeks performance where we were really good for 60 minutes of the game.”

VODACOM BULLS vs NOVAVIT GRIFFONS STARTING XV:
1. Lizo Gqoboka (c), 2. Jan Hendrik Wessels, 3. Robert Hunt, 4. Jacques Du Plessis, 5. Reinhardt Ludwig, 6. Phumzile Maqondwana, 7. Nizaam Carr, 8. Muller Uys, 9. Keagan Johannes, 10. Johan Goosen, 11. Kabelo Mokoena, 12. Lionel Mapoe (vc), 13. Wandisile Simelane, 14. Quewin Nortje, 15. Franco Knoetze

VODACOM BULLS IMPACT SQUAD:
16. Simphiwe Matanzima, 17. Joe Van Zyl, 18. Sebastian Lombard, 19. JP Alberts, 20. Mihlali Mosi, 21. Bernard van der Linde, 22. Chris Barend Smit, 23. Adriaan Joubert

MANAGEMENT: Edgar Marutlulle – Head Coach, Sean Everitt – Defence & Breakdown, Hugo van As – Backline, Gert Smal – Forwards, Justin – Technical Analyst, Dr. Herman Rossouw – Team Doctor, Mike Prevoo – Strength & Conditioning, Darryn Berry – Physiotherapist, Claudette Eckard – Physiotherapist, Andries Kabine – Logistics Manager, Yusuf Vahed – Team Manager

Content & Images from – Vodacom Bulls Rugby


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Champions Cup

Munster Name Travelling Squad For Sharks Clash

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A 28-man Munster travelling squad has been named ahead of Saturday’s Champions Cup round of 16 clash against the Sharks in Durban (12.30pm Irish time/1.30pm local).

Preparations for the game started on Monday, see today’s best training pics from Thomond Park here.

Players and management will fly out tonight and arrive in Durban tomorrow evening (Wednesday) ahead of the game.

16 forwards and 12 backs will make the trip with Munster’s 23-man matchday squad to be named at 12pm on Friday.

On the injury front, Niall Scannell (shoulder) has returned to full team training and has been selected in the travelling group.

Antoine Frisch is also included after recovering from a low-grade leg injury.

On the club front, there were seven Munster players in AIL Division 1A action at the weekend.

Daniel Hurley helped Cork Constitution to a 36-19 victory over a Shannon side that included Darragh McSweeney and Daniel Okeke.

Dan Goggin, Patrick Campbell and Shay McCarthy started for Young Munster in their win over UCD.

Tony Butler was in action for Garryowen as they were beaten by Terenure College.

Munster Travelling Squad

Forwards: Dave Kilcoyne, Josh Wycherley; Diarmuid Barron, Scott Buckley, Niall Scannell; Stephen Archer, Keynan Knox, Roman Salanoa; Jean Kleyn, RG Snyman, Fineen Wycherley; Gavin Coombes, John Hodnett, Alex Kendellen, Jack O’Donoghue, Peter O’Mahony.

Backs: Craig Casey, Conor Murray, Paddy Patterson; Joey Carbery, Jack Crowley, Ben Healy; Malakai Fekitoa, Antoine Frisch; Shane Daly, Mike Haley, Calvin Nash, Simon Zebo.

Images & Content from Munster Rugby


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Champions Cup

Leinster give update on Sexton injury

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Leinster Head Coach Leo Cullen has issued an injury update ahead of Saturday’s Heineken Champions Cup match against Ulster in Aviva Stadium.

Over 48,000 tickets have already been sold for the match. You can buy the last remaining tickets for the Round of 16 clash here.

Johnny Sexton will see a specialist on Tuesday and have a procedure on the groin injury picked up in Ireland’s Guinness Six Nations game against England which will likely keep him sidelined for the remainder of the Leinster Rugby season.

Garry Ringrose, Hugo Keenan and Caelan Doris will continue to follow the Graduated Return to Play Protocols this week.

Ed Byrne came through the game at the weekend with no issues after his return from a knee injury.

There are no further updates on:
Jamie Osborne (knee), Rónan Kelleher (shoulder), Joe McCarthy (ankle), Cormac Foley (hamstring), Martin Moloney (knee) and  Charlie Ngatai (hamstring)

Images & Content from Leinster Rugby


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