Planet Rugby

Preview: Scarlets v Cardiff Blues

09th May 2014 12:05

Share:

Alex Cuthbert Cardiff Blues v Toulon Heineken Cup Pool Six Cardiff Arms Park

50th Blues cap: Alex Cuthbert

Wingers Alex Cuthbert and Harry Robinson will both play their 50th game for Cardiff Blues in Saturday's Pro 12 clash away to the Scarlets.

Cuthbert and Robinson, who will move to Saturday's opponents Scarlets in the summer, will hit the half century as Blues hunt a fifth successive league victory to finish the campaign in style.

Coaching duo Dale McIntosh and Paul John make a number of changes to the side that claimed a hard-fought victory over Connacht Rugby last time out.

Centre Isaia Tuifua comes into the starting line-up for the derby clash while there is also a start for fly half Simon Humberstone with Gareth Davies missing the game through injury.

Robin Copeland will make his last appearance for the Blues at eight while Lewis Jones starts at scrum half as Lloyd Williams moves to the bench.

"The confidence we have picked up in recent weeks has helped us. That showed against Connacht in the manner in which we fought back to get the win and we want to keep that going now until the final match," said coach Paul John .

"We wanted to finish the season positively after what happened at Ospreys and we have done that with four wins on a bounce. It will be difficult at Scarlets, they have qualified for the top European competition and they will want revenge after what happened at Judgement Day.

"It's always very tight when two regions go against each other, it's a local derby and it will be exciting for everyone.

"We make some changes as we have some aching bodies and injuries. However, those that go out on the field will want to finish strongly.

"A number of players will leave us after this game and it's important they finish on a high for Blues."

Meanwhile, Jonathan Davies and Josh Turnbull will farewell to the Scarlets.

Scarlets Head Coach Simon Easterby has made five changes to his starting line-up from the side that secured victory, and European qualification, over Newport Gwent Dragons last Friday evening. Steven Shingler moves from fullback to partner captain Jonathan Davies in the centre with Liam Williams making a return to the fullback berth after a two week ban.

Rhodri Williams is handed a start at scrum half with Gareth Davies moving to the replacements bench. Two changes in the pack see Johan Snyman replace the injured George Earle in the second row with Aaron Shingler coming in to the backrow for John Barclay who has undergone routine surgery on his shoulder.

"It's important that we've secured European rugby, we've shown in patches that we've been very good. It was vital that we got that top sixth birth, but we want to finish the season on a high," said Easterby.

Form: Scarlets have already secured European Champions Cup rugby for next season and sixth spot in the RaboDirect PRO12. Scarlets only defeat in their last four PRO12 matches was to Cardiff Blues at Millennium Stadium in the Judgement Day game, 3 weeks ago. Scarlets are unbeaten at Parc y Scarlets in the PRO12 in 2014. Cardiff Blues have won their last four matches since their defeat at Ospreys in round 17 - equalling their best run in the competition since 2010/11. Blues have won only once at a fellow Welsh Region in the last four season of PRO12 play: 16-5 at the Dragons in September 2012. Cardiff Blues' 17-13 victory over Scarlets on 'Judgement Day' ended eight game losing run to their opponents from the West in all tournaments.

The teams:

Scarlets:15 Liam Williams, 14 Kristian Phillips, 13 Jonathan Davies (c), 12 Steven Shingler, 11 Jordan Williams, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Rhodri Williams, 8 Rob McCusker 7 Aaron Shingler, 6 Josh Turnbull, 5 Johan Snyman, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Phil John,
Replacements: 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Rob Evans, 18 Rhodri Jones, 19 Richard Kelly, 20 Sione Timani, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Olly Barkley, 23 Gareth Maule

Cardiff Blues : 15 Dan Fish, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Cory Allen, 12 Isaia Tuifua, 11 Harry Robinson, 10 Simon Humberstone, 9 Lewis Jones, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Josh Navidi, 6 Macauley Cook, 5 Filo Paulo, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Taufa'ao Filise, 2 Matthew Rees (c), 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Chris Dicomidis, 20 Ellis Jenkins, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 Dafydd Hewitt, 23 Thomas Williams

Date: Saturday, April 10
Venue: Parc y Scarlets
Kick-off: 18.30 BST
Referee: Ian Davies (WRU)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
International Match
Saturday , November 1
Barbarians vs AustraliaBarbarians vs Australia Preview
USA vs New ZealandUSA vs New Zealand Preview
More International Match fixtures
LV= Cup
Saturday , November 1
Sale Sharks vs Wasps14:00
Exeter vs Gloucester15:00
Bath vs London Welsh15:00
London Irish vs Leicester15:00
Northampton vs Newcastle16:00
Sunday , November 2
Saracens vs Harlequins13:00
More LV= Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs EdinburghLeinster vs Edinburgh Preview
Glasgow vs Benetton TrevisoGlasgow vs Benetton Treviso Preview
Ospreys vs ConnachtOspreys vs Connacht Preview
Saturday , November 1
Cardiff Blues vs Munster17:15
Scarlets vs Zebre18:00
Ulster vs Newport Gwent D'gons19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 1
Lyon vs Toulouse13:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
La Rochelle vs Montpellier18:30
Brive vs Castres18:30
Bayonne vs Clermont Auvergne20:45
Sunday , November 2
Toulon vs Grenoble13:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Castres 16 - 21 LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Report
Clermont Auvergne 35 - 3 Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Report
Benetton Treviso 10 - 26 Racing Metro 92
Wasps 16 - 23 HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Report
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
Oyonnax 15 - 25 Gloucester
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615