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Young frustrated by errors

Cardiff Blues director of rugby Dai Young believes a number of small errors have been responsible for his side's early Heineken Cup exit after watching them claim a 14-9 win over Castres at Cardiff City Stadium.

Hopes had been high that the Blues could challenge for honours in the top-tier competition this term, but three defeats from their opening four games meant the best they could hope for from their final two Pool One games was a runner-up spot and a place in the last eight of the Amlin Challenge Cup.

Friday's win keeps them in with a chance of that second-place spot with just their trip to Edinburgh remaining. But Young said: "Over the last couple of seasons, a lot of the games we won in Europe were close, and now we're losing by small margins. It's not been a massive swing. Missed penalties, missed kicks to touch, the little things that were going right last year have been going wrong."

He added: "We talk about nailing opportunities, and it never really happened (on Friday night). When you get to a position like 11-3 up, and you've got to kick on, but we couldn't get the extra scores that would have allowed us to relax."

Young acknowledged that many of his players are nearing the end of their careers, and promised there would be changes come the end of the season.

"We have an old squad, and we've got to look at addressing that," he said. "It's not going to be easy next season, with the World Cup, so it'll be a two-year operation.

"We won't be casting anyone aside, but we've got to start pushing youngsters through. There's going to be a changing of the guard."

But Young did reserve praise for Wales wing Leigh Halfpenny, who has now scored two tries in two starts since returning from an ankle ligament injury.

"Leigh looked a threat every time he had the ball," said Young. "He's a quality player, and he's full of enthusiasm after being out injured.

"It's good news for Wales coach Warren Gatland, because he's a match-winner."


From Belfast Telegraph