Challenge Cup Final: Cardiff Blues v Gloucester Preview

Johan Ackermann will be looking to bag a trophy in his debut season when his Gloucester side collides with the Cardiff Blues on Friday the 11th of May.

The baby brother to the European Rugby Champions Cup, the Challenge Cup, will take centre stage this Friday evening with the Cardiff Blues and Gloucester squaring off for the coveted trophy.

This Anglo-Welsh affair should be an absolute cracker with both sides playing some fantastic rugby this term.

Cardiff v Gloucester
Friday 11 May
Stade San Mamés

To Win (80 Mins)
Cardiff 12/20

Draw 20/1
Gloucester 72/100

The Welsh outfit have been outstanding on defence this term and again held their line like mongrels during their semi-final against Pau only allowing the French side to score 10 points while they racked up 16 of their own. Despite this being a final, the Blues are unlikely to be able to keep Gloucester to such a low score as the English side have some devastating attacking talent within their ranks.

The Blues will need to offer a bit more going forward if they are to win this one. They only managed to score 99 points during the pool phase at an average of just over 16 points per game. They're likely to need to put a higher score on the board this Friday if they are to claim the title.

What a debut season it would be for Johann Ackermann if he could land the trophy this Saturday. While the former Lions mentor hasn't had it all his way this season - Gloucester missed out on the Aviva Premiership semi-finals and there was that nightclub incident - but a Challenge Cup would be a massive achievement.

Gloucester know what it's like to play in a Challenge Cup final as that went down to Stade Francais in last year's showpiece event. They seem a bit more gritty this year, however, as they put in an almighty defensive display during their 33-12 victory over local rivals, the Newcastle Falcons. They also looked rather slick with ball-in-hand during that victory.

Verdict: Gloucester 72/100
I think the English side will adapt to the dry conditions better than their counterparts, who while solid on defence, have been found wanting when it comes to attack.

Written by Darry Worthington for

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