CARDIFF BLUES V GLASGOW, 3.15PM
JOHN Mulvihill has targetted Champions Cup victory over Glasgow Warriors today at the Arms Park to set up a blockbusting double-header against Saracens to top the group.
Blues are looking to build on last week’s stunning victory over Lyon at Matmut Stadium de Gerland, and the Australian says the squad have highlighted the prestige of the competition.
“We have to put everything into this week. It’s really important because if we can come away with the win, it sets up two big clashes against Saracens in December to decide who tops the pool,” said Mulvihill.
“Myself and Ellis Jenkins were over at the Aviva Stadium a few weeks ago for the launch. They spoke to the coaches and the players, and it hit me how big this tournament is.
“You watch the footage of teams who have won it in past years and look at the big teams around Europe who are in this competition. It was just exciting.
“I came away thinking that we have to be there every year, minimum, and that means a top-three finish in the PRO14.
“We spoke this week as a squad about the significance of the competition and the great teams that have been involved in the competition.
“We had Rhys Gill, who has won the cup twice with Saracens, stand up and address the group on Monday to really hammer home how important this competition is for us and that we need do it justice.
“The level of intensity of training and on game day in Lyon has been at another level from where we’ve been so far this season.”
The Scottish outfit are currently joint leaders of the PRO14 in terms of tries scored, and have only lost one of their opening Championship games as they sit on top of Conference A.
However, they opened their European campaign with a 13-3 defeat to Saracens at Scotstoun last week.
Mulvihill expects an open and entertaining game of rugby and wants a repeat of last week’s special victory in the south of France.
The head coach said: “It’s going to be a really good game. Glasgow are going to be desperate after losing their home game last week to Sarries, and they weren’t far away in that game.
“They’re a team that won’t kick the ball a lot and they’ll move the ball from all parts of the field.
“They’ll come up against a team who do similar and it will come down to who has the best defence and that will to win on the day.
“It will be end-to-end stuff. It won’t be great for coaches watching, but I’m sure the crowd will love it.” CARDIFF BLUES: G Anscombe; A Summerhill, R Lee-Lo, W Halaholo, J Harries; J Evans, T Williams; R Gill, K Dacey, D Lewis, G Earle, J Turnbull, O Robinson, E Jenkins (capt), N Williams. Reps: E Lewis, B Thyer, S Andrews, R Thornton, S Manoa, L Williams, G Smith, M Morgan. GLASGOW: T Seymour; L Jones, H Jones, S Johnson, DTH van der Merwe; A Hastings, A Price; O Kebble, F Brown, D Rae; R Harley, J Gray; R Wilson, C Gibbins, M Ferguson. Reps: G Turner, A Allan, P du Plessis, S Cummings, C Fusaro, G Horne, P Horne, N Matawalu. REFEREE: Luke Pearce (RFU).