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Cardiff Blues aiming for a return to winning ways

Cardiff Blues will look to rediscover a winning formula when they resume their European Challenge Cup campaign by hosting Bath on Saturday.

The Blues are currently top of Pool Four after collecting nine points from two wins, with Bath also unbeaten and tucked in just behind them.

But the Welsh side have claimed just one victory from six starts in all competitions since October's opening rounds of European action, losing three Guinness PRO12 games and two Anglo-Welsh Cup ties.

"We won both (European) games earlier in the season, and we are top of the pool," Blues head coach Danny Wilson said. "We certainly want to go in and fight to stay top of the pool.

"We've got two games against Bath, which will be tough fixtures for us, but it's an opportunity to fight for a competition that we are sat at the top of the table in, and see if we can stay there. "

The Blues' latest loss was a 35-22 home reversal against Ulster, and Wilson added: "It's about hard work.

"That is what we did to improve our performances to get the (winning) runs at the end of last season and the beginning of this one. Now, it is back to that to get us out of this patch.

"We have to get back to what we saw at the start of the season. This is a good side, a good group of players. We are having issues at the moment, but we will work hard to get them right."

Bath will arrive in the Welsh capital after beating Aviva Premiership leaders Saracens last weekend. It was only Saracens' second league defeat this season, with Bath underlining their own title play-off credentials in the process.

"We don't want to get too carried away with ourselves," Bath and England lock Dave Attwood said.

"We've done some good things so far this season, but we are a long way from being the finished article.

"We've got plenty to work on in the next couple of games - back-to-back against Cardiff Blues, and to lead into Christmas and that Wasps game (on Christmas Eve). There are some big focus points for us."

Worcester, bottom of Pool Three after two defeats, host Newport Gwent Dragons on Saturday, with head coach Carl Hogg placing an emphasis on the Warriors' young talent.

"We will look at integrating some of the young players, as we always have, and we are mindful we've got a block of three games over Christmas and the New Year," Hogg said.

"(England centre) Ben Te'o is on a break after England duty, but we will look to bring him back for the three-game run in the Premiership. We will look to get the balance right between experienced players and integrating young players."

Harlequins, meanwhile, are set to encounter freezing conditions on Saturday when they arrive in Romania for a game against Pool Five strugglers Timisoara Saracens.

The game will be played at the 33,000-capacity Dan Paltinisanu Stadium, with Quins aiming to reassert themselves as potential quarter-finalists following an agonising defeat at Edinburgh last time out, where they were beaten 36-35, although Quins did secure two losing bonus points in the process.


From Belfast Telegraph