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Wilson determined to compete on two fronts ahead of quarter final clash

27th March 2018

Danny Wilson is determined to keep competing on two fronts as a European Challenge Cup quarter final against Edinburgh approaches.

The Blues travel to BT Murrayfield on Saturday with the prospect of a home semi-final the reward.

Both sides head into the encounter on the back of impressive winning streaks in the PRO14, as they continue to press for Champions Cup qualifications.

Wilson now enters his final few games with Cardiff Blues before departs for a coaching role with Dai Young’s Wasps at the end of the season. 

The head coach believes his side, who have won seven consecutive first team fixtures, have hit form at the perfect time and hopes to give Wales’ Capital Region a strong platform for next season, before he departs for Coventry.

“All these games, going into the business end of the season, are really important, and we wanted to be in a position where we were in the latter stages of Europe and give ourselves an opportunity to qualify for the Champions Cup.

“We’re in those latter stages, and we want to progress further, and to make it a home semi final would be a great achievement for us in Europe. Likewise, in the PRO14, we want to get ourselves up for qualification for the Champions Cup as a minimum, but to also continue chasing the Cheetahs to try to make a play-off position.

"We’re working hard towards that goal, and at the moment we’ve had some great wins and a great run.

“We’ve won nine out of 11, at the tail-end of the season. I look at games like the Scarlets at home on New Year’s Eve, where we could’ve potentially nicked that one, and the one-point loss to Ospreys, and we could be sat here with a really good record in front of us.

“But what has gone is gone and as a group we want to achieve our goal, and those staying will have a platform to play from next season.”

Edinburgh have been turning heads with their improved performances in the PRO14 this season, and Wilson is aware of the threats posed by any side coached by the experienced Richard Cockerill.

Wilson said: "Any side that is coached by Richard Cockerill will be hard over the ball, defensively, and have a real contact area presence.

"A decent set-piece is another fundamental part of a Richard Cockerill side, and they will generally be a well-organised and gritty team. Edinburgh have proven this year that they are very difficult to beat and difficult to breakdown, with one of the best defences in the league.

"Our attacking game, we’d like to think, has the fundamentals and the capabilities of testing that  but we’re fully aware it will be one of, if not the best defence we’ll have had faced recently.

"Our attacking game for three years has been of pretty strong level. We’ve scored a lot of tries, we make a lot of line-breaks and have got a lot of x-factor players. 

"But what’s really kicked on is our defence, and in fact, we our defensive record is up there with the best in the Challenge Cup this year and that’s given us this big opportunity this weekend.

"There’s big credit to Shaun Edwards and Richard Hodges, who have done a lot of great work with our defence, our contact area is a point of difference and our line speed causes sides problems."