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'Shambolic' Cardiff shredded as Dai Young gives players ultimatum

By Ian Cameron
Dai Young /Press Association

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Cardiff head coach Dai Young has branded his side’s thrashing at the hands of Benetton Treviso as “just wasn’t good enough for the jersey”.

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The Welsh region’s URC campaign came to a miserable conclusion last night as they were subjected to a 69-21 defeat by the Italian side.

It’s the latest in a long line of humiliations that Welsh rugby has been subjected to this year in what has been one of the worst seasons for the game in Wales for decades.

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Worryingly, Cardiff boasted 11 Wales internationals in the side that was easily walloped at the Stadio Comunale di Monigo.

“We just looked really tired physically and mentally. No excuse. That’s a disappointing factor,” Young bemoaned during a pitchside interview with S4C after the game. “We didn’t build pressure or momentum and they broke our line far too easy, especially around the forwards. Obviously you can play open rugby, but you have to have the skill levels to do it and we didn’t demonstrate that.”

“It’s been a difficult season for us. People ask me if there have been any positives. Not really. I suppose the only positive is this is our last game. We will have to work hard pre-season and we have to come better than that because that wasn’t good enough for the jersey.”

“I told the players – if that doesn’t hurt us then we don’t want to be here next year, it’s as simple as that. Unfortunately we’ve now got a long wait until we can put things right.

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“It’s a really quiet changing room, but how can you tell if they’re really hurting? We’ll find that out next season when they come out and they need to use that as fuel to get better.”

The result capped off a miserable campaign for Cardiff, who have finished the regular season three places from the bottom of the 16-team league.

It has gone unnoticed online, with Welsh rugby fans once again left to digest an unfathomable result. As Stuart Farmer pointed out, it broke URC records, but for all the wrong reason from a Cardiff perspective.

“Benetton rewrite the record books in Treviso! Their highest score (and Cardiff’s most conceded). Only six other teams have racked up TEN tries in a URC game: Cardiff, Ulster, Ospreys & Leinster, Munster and Glasgow (twice apiece).”

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ITV Wales journalist Gareth Axenderrie wrote: “Just in case you were wondering, there were 11 full Welsh internationals in the Cardiff Rugby match day squad that just lost 69-21 to Benetton. That was painful. Italian rugby no longer the sick man of Europe.”

Rugby statistician Russ Petty noted: “Cardiff conceded 40 points or more in the league 15 times from 2001/02 – 2020/21, 5 times this season.”

Popular supporters account Cardiff Rugby Life put the boot into Young and his coaching ticket, even though they qualified the statement by saying the former Wasps boss shouldn’t be sacked. “Dai Young’s squad management over the last few weeks has been absolutely shambolic. Stick with a load of the same old faces for weeks chasing crap wins over Zebre and Dragons, then chuck a load of young lads to the slaughter away from home in the last game of the season.”

Cardiff supporters trust CF10 couldn’t recall a worse performance. “Struggling to think of a worse performance. Can’t find a single positive thing to say other than thank god it’s over.”

Wales Online rugby writer Simon Thomas said: While Cardiff were really, really poor, it’s only right to acknowledge how well Benetton Rugby played. Their offloading and support play was top drawer. They were really good to watch, letting the ball do the work and always looking for space.”

It will be a case of back to the drawing board for Cardiff next season, as it simply can’t get much worse for the side.

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