Danny Wilson was thrilled with Cardiff Blues' performance as they swept Southern Kings aside to secure their place in next season's European Champions Cup.
Following the Ospreys defeat to Ulster last night, Wales’ Capital Region knew a victory would secure a place to dine at the top table of Europe and they certainly delivered.
The Blues ran in seven tries in all with Alex Cuthbert, Seb Davies, Willis Halaholo, Josh Turnbull, Kirby Myhill (2) and Blaine Scully all crossing.
The victory puts them out of reach of the Ospreys, who now trail in fifth-place by 13-points and there is still a chance of qualifying for the play-offs if results go their way.
However, securing Champions Cup rugby for the first time in five year’s was the major goal and Wilson was understandably delighted.
“We were hugely motivated to achieve a goal that had been set for a long time, which was to get back into the Champions Cup.
“To do it in the manner we did it, especially the first-half performance, was fantastic and showed how extremely motivated the boys have been for that goal.
“We were fully aware coming here of how dangerous the Kings are and we talked a lot this week about some of the individual players and the quality they have.
“We saw their mind-set tonight to attack from everything and everywhere, quick throw-ins from lineouts, running from deep but we knew if we could suffocate them and keep them in good positions then we would get some rewards.
“It was a pleasing game, a pleasing performance and it’s ended in us achieving a goal that has been set for a while now.
“For Cardiff Blues and for this groups of players it is a fantastic achievement. Every year we have improved our number of wins each year and the culmination of that is getting into the Champions Cup, which is something we’re extremely proud of.”
While the Blues will join Europe’s elite next season, there is still the small matter of a European Challenge Cup semi-final on the horizon.
They host Pau, who they beat twice last season, at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday, April 21 (1pm) and Wilson insists there is no bigger occasion.
Tickets are selling fast for the encounter and the head coach, who will depart in the summer, is hoping for a sell-out for one final farewell.
He added: “I don’t think it gets any bigger than that and I really hope we can pack the Arms Park out because I know what a difference it makes.
“I have only really felt that in derbies and the atmosphere in derbies is phenomenal – if we can get that same atmosphere for a European semi-final then there’s no reason why we can’t go to a final.
“We know the opposition we’re going to play is extremely talented. They are a quality outfit that will be a real test for us but in the vein of form we’re in, picking up a fair few wins, we go into it confident and hopefully we come away from it with what we all want, which is a European final!”
Cardiff Blues face Pau in the semi-finals of the European Challenge Cup on Saturday, April 21 (1pm) at the Arms Park. Tickets are available now and can be bought by clicking here or calling 029 20 302030.