After the high of the WRU National Cup Final win at the Principality Stadium on Sunday, Cardiff RFC now re-focus attention on the Principality Premiership as the season enters it’s final weeks.
The Blue and Blacks have had a superb second half of the season, pushing on from a solid first half, as 14 games unbeaten between mid-December and mid-April saw them go toe-to-toe with Merthyr at the top of the league.
However, back-to-back defeats at the hands of Swansea and Pontypridd, respectfully, have de-railed attempts to keep up with the Ironmen, leaving the task of winning the league title entirely in their hands.
It is still more than possible for Steve Law’s men to finish second in the table though, if we can get back to winning ways this weekend and put together a run of form over our last four league games.
For now those losses have seen Cardiff fall back into the chasing pack as we currently sit fourth in the table amongst a group of three other teams, but just to complicate matters, only ourselves and Pontypridd have played the same number of games, with each of the other sides having played a different amount.
Let’s start with Steve Law’s men and when it comes to finishing second a good start will be beating Ebbw Vale at the Arms Park on Saturday. This is the Steelmen’s final game of the season, and a loss would rule them out of the race for the runner-up spot.
It’s then a busy few days of rugby for the Blue and Blacks, with relegated Neath coming to the capital the following Wednesday night before a trip to also relegated Bargoed just four days later.
The season then comes to an end away to RGC in Colwyn Bay on Saturday 18th in what is always a tough game, although the North Walians have not had a great second half of the season and Cardiff have already won up their in the Cup this year.
There are two other challengers for that second place spot, with Llandovery currently occupying the position in the league table after a very impressive second half of the season.
They only have two games remaining of their campaign, travelling to Newport this weekend before welcoming Aberavon to North Carmarthenshire the following Saturday, but three wins for Cardiff will almost certainly see us jump the Drovers.
Then the other side are old rivals Pontypridd, who also have four games remaining and face a packed schedule, starting away at Bargoed on Saturday before they travel to Cross Keys next Wednesday.
Ponty then have home games against Bridgend, who are still fighting to secure their Premiership status for next season, and finish by welcoming Merthyr to Sardis Road in the Valleys derby.
They currently sit two points behind Cardiff, meaning the Blue and Blacks just have to match their results in order to finish above our A470 rivals.
However, as well as looking at those around us, we could still look up the table, with Merthyr not completely out of sight yet and having to travel to the always difficult Carmarthen Quins, welcome RGC and, as mentioned above, go away to rivals Pontypridd.
The Ironmen realistically need to lose all three games, but this is sport and no course runs smoothly!
For Cardiff though, all we can do is focus on our own performances and get back to winning ways against Ebbw Vale on Saturday. The season is already a huge success, and giving it the ending it deserves over the next three weeks will send us into the summer in great shape.
Cardiff Blues season is over, so get down to the Arms Park on Saturday and support the Blue and Blacks as they aim to finish the season on a high.