Cardiff vs Ospreys: Simon Thomas preview

Judgement day is upon us. In the build up, Simon Thomas spoke to Boothy and Cardiff Head Coach, Matt Sherratt, to get their thoughts on what could potentially be a huge fixture for the Ospreys.

For the Ospreys, the equation is simple, yet also complicated.

Their own objective is clear. To have any chance of making the play-offs, they have to secure a bonus point victory in this second Judgement Day derby.

But they also require a series of other results to go their way.

They need the Lions to get no more than a point away to the Stormers, for either Benetton or Edinburgh to come away pointless from their meeting in Treviso and for Connacht to miss out on maximum points away to Leinster.

There is also the possibility of them pipping Benetton on points difference should they finish level with them on match points, but that would require a 26 point swing.

The bottom line is they will know where they stand when they take the field at the Cardiff City Stadium as their rivals will have played their matches.

All they can hope is they are still in the mix by that point.

“There is nothing we can do about results elsewhere,” said head coach Toby Booth.

“We can only control what we do. We will put our best foot forward. If we end up falling short, that will just give us the motivation to keep going. We are trying to become a top eight team and that’s the next line in the sand for progress.

“Have we improved this season? Yeah, you bet your life we have. We have won more games and everyone in the group should take a lot of credit for that.

“We are a find-a-way team that wants to keep pushing and keep getting better.

“We are not going to look down, we are going to look up and keep looking at what it’s going to take to get up there.”

Booth is expecting a stiff test from a Cardiff team who have been involved in a succession of close encounters in the URC this season, while their last match saw them beat the Sharks 36-14 out in Durban.

“I think Jockey (coach Matt Sherratt) has done a great job,” he said.

“They are a good team. You don’t go to South Africa and win if you are not a good team, you just don’t.

“They have got a good history, they’ve got a great fan base, they play a nice style of rugby.

“You just look at their losing bonus points this season. It’s narrow margins.

“It will be a good challenge, for sure. We are going to have to go really, really well to win, let alone to win with a bonus point.”

Giving his thoughts on the Ospreys, Cardiff coach Matt Sherratt said: “They have improved during the season.

“When I look at them compared to when we played them on New Year’s Day, they are a much better team now.

“Their defence has improved and their attack is developing nicely as well, with a bit more ball movement.

“They are well coached and they have got good team spirit.”

With Josh Adams having been ruled out with a groin problem, Theo Cabango joins the newly re-signed Mason Grady on the wings for Cardiff, while Tinus de Beer is back at fly-half after sitting out the start for the first time this season against the Sharks.

There will be final appearances for the club for the departing Rhys Carre, Willis Halaholo, Lopeti Timani and Shane Lewis-Hughes.

Meanwhile, the play-off chasing Ospreys show just the two changes from the bonus point win over the Dragons last time out, with Owen Watkin and Max Nagy coming into the back-line.

Get your tickets for Judgement Day here.