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Wilson sets sights on seventh finish

25th April 2017

Danny Wilson has set his sights on a winning finish to the Guinness PRO12 to secure seventh place.

Cardiff Blues are already guaranteed a play-off semi-final for the last remaining place in the European Champions Cup but Wilson is determined to finish as high up the table as possible.

They host Zebre in the last encounter of the season at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Friday night (7.05pm), before travelling to Caerphilly to face Newport Gwent Dragons the following weekend.

A pair of victories is highly likely to seal seventh, and a play-off in France rather than England, and Wilson’s focus is purely on winning rather than potential future opponents.

Wilson said: “We’re in that play-off situation, we currently sit seventh and our goal has to be finishing seventh. 

“We have two fixtures remaining and are currently one point above Connacht. Whoever we then play, we play, it leans towards going to France, which will be another huge challenge but one we will relish and look forward to.

“But for me it is about winning every game that you are confronted with. That means Zebre at home, our last game there this season and then Dragons away in a derby, which we certainly want to win. 

“We finished seventh last year but couldn’t get out of our European group, if we finish seventh this year and reached a European quarter-final, we have picked up more wins and are slowly moving in the direction we need to be.”

The Blues roared to an emphatic 35-17 victory over the Ospreys on Judgement Day at the Principality, finally getting over the line following a string of impressive performances.

Wilson points to a fit and healthy squad, with competition for places, as the reason for the upturn in fortunes and he insists that is the key to consistency.

He added: “We started the season with a very fit and healthy squad and won seven out of 10 games, including some big wins like Munster away, and we’re finishing the season in a similar vein – drawing out in Ulster, we possibly could have beaten Leinster, a poor patch against Gloucester and then a very good performance and win against the Ospreys.

“We have a lot more of the squad available to us than perhaps the middle part of the season where we had some pretty bad injury problems in certain positions.

“You have to have a squad that can deal with an extremely long season with a lot of fixtures – we have talked about quality over quantity but you need quality in quantity.

“Anyone that plays us in a one off game will know if we have the right boys on the park we can take anyone on. Our problem is consistency.

“We have to maintain this consistency, then there are two games in the play-offs, which you have to win and then your squad is tested in a very different way. 

“We need to be on top of our game for the next four games to give ourselves the chance.”

Tickets for The Last Stand: Cardiff Blues v Zebre in the Guinness PRO12 on Friday night (7.05pm) are available now. Click here to buy yours today.