Dai Young was pleased with the spirit and togetherness of the Cardiff squad as they claimed a momentous derby victory over Scarlets on Saturday.
A Tomos Williams try and the boot of Jarrod Evans ensured the Blue and Blacks came away from Llanelli with the victory.
With Scarlets looking for a dramatic winner in the closing stages, Young praised his side’s tenacious defensive effort and has challenged them to back it up next week when Dragons RFC visit the Welsh capital on Saturday.
The Director of Rugby said: “I’m really, really pleased. Obviously we didn’t have a lot of the ball, especially in the second half, but we took our opportunities in the first half and got our noses in front.
“In the second half, our backs were against the wall, but I’m really pleased with the determination, the spirit and the togetherness, which has been questioned on numerous occasions. But today I though they went out and we couldn’t ask much more of the spirit.
“You don’t want to be making that many tackles, and you don’t want to be stuck in your own 22 as much as we were today.
“But the boys really stood up against a real physical Scarlets team. We rode our luck on occasions but I couldn’t have asked much more of the players today. In defence they were outstanding.
“For us, it’s about taking it week-by-week and trying to take the emotional rollercoaster away from winning. We had a really good win against Munster, Glasgow wasn’t anywhere near the same and last week against the Lions we should have won the game.
“But we committed some really silly errors, basic mistakes and discipline let us down but we bounce back with a good win today. That was the important thing.
“We’ve got to learn every week. Win, lose or draw, we’ve got to look to learn and get better.
“We had a couple of bumps and bruises, with Rey going off early for a HIA, Lopeti went off with what looked like a pulled calf but hopefully not too many more than that.
“We have a real bashed up team at the minute because they put their bodies on the line. You can’t ask any more than that.
“Going into the last five to ten minutes, that could have been a game that got away from us. We fought on a couple of occasions to get a hold of the ball, and when we did we have it back to them.
“So they tested my ticker in the last five to ten minutes, so the important thing was that togetherness and the spirit they showed. That gets doubted week-after-week about this team.
“What I’ve said to them is, we had a real good performance against Munster, a real decent performance tonight, in terms of the spirit, togetherness and the will to win, and we’ve got to back it up.
“We’ve got to do it week-after-week not one in four.
“We knew what was coming our way and we knew they were going to drive most line-outs and then go to the air, but we controlled the set-piece well, which made them go up to the air.
“We had a little bit of mixed fortunes in the air, but there were lots of players playing in unaccustomed positions, especially when we got our yellow cards as well.
“But that’s a squad. We practice week-in, week-out moving people around, dealing with yellow cards and we dealt wit the yellow card far better in this game than we did last week.
“You keep talking about learning from losses and I think we’ve learned a bit to control a period with the yellow cards better than we did in the last game.”
After claiming the win in the first derby of the campaign, Young is expecting another tough task when Dragons visit Cardiff Arms Park next week.
“I don’t think there’s much between the regions. The Scarlets could have easily won that game tonight but we’ve come out on top.
“Next week is going to be a close game and it’s always close between us and the Dragons.
“We’re going to see a Dragons side coming to Cardiff really determined to do a job at the Arms Park next week.”
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