I love a good trip down to Cardiff for the rugby. With the Principality Stadium and Cardiff Arms right in the centre of town you really feel that rugby is ingrained in the city. 

As we arrived the night before we encountered a number of Cardiff fans who all wished us luck for the next day, they are genuinely a lovely bunch. 

The day of the match we decided to attend the Wales v Italy Women’s Six Nations match which gave us a chance to go in to the Principality and then go along to Cardiff Arms. 

Getting to our seats nice and early we noticed quite a lot of Edinburgh fans near us, great news for us making plenty of noise. 

The squad had been announced on Friday and was just about the strongest team we could muster. With Emiliano Boffelli back it was interesting to see him on the wing and Wes Goosen at fullback but with the performances we have seen from Wes over the last few weeks not at all surprising. Having numbers 1-12 in the team all Scottish Internationals it was somewhat reassuring.

A short delay at the start of the match to sort out referee communications and we were underway. 

A very slow start in the first half brought flashbacks to last week. All the play seemed to be going Cardiff’s way while we seemed to be unable to hold on to the ball for longer than a couple of phases. Defensively we held them at bay though and they went in to half time pointless while Pierre Schoeman’s converted try in the 26th minute meant we lead by seven points at half time. 

Scotland Rugby News: Sean Everitt

Early in the second half Duhan Van Der Merwe was sin binned for a high tackle, leaving the pitch to the sound of booing and returning 10 minutes later to further booing it was funny to observe that after the match he was surrounded by Cardiff fans all wanting autographs and selfies, it was impossible to get within 10 feet of him so pantomime booing at it’s best.

Cardiff scored via prop Rhys Carre who thundered across the line with little looking like stopping him but further tries from Ewan Ashman and Boan Venter along with a penalty from Ben Healy made the final score Cardiff 7 Edinburgh 24. Player of the match went to Jamie Ritchie.

As always at Cardiff all the fans were invited on to the pitch so we had a chance to see and congratulate a few players after the match, not least of all Chris Dean who got his 150th cap when he came on in the second half.

We now sit in ninth on the table and out of the playoff places, just one point behind Connacht, Ulster and Benetton but with more wins than all of them (oh how we lament those lost bonus points now). With only three matches left its going to need a monumental effort from the whole team for the last few matches.

We face Zebre and Munster at home and then Benetton away. We really need a bonus point win versus at least one of those teams and while none of them will be easy you would expect we should target Zebre for that. Munster will need a herculean effort to overcome as they always do and I really hope it doesn’t come down to the final match, winner takes eighth type of thing, my nerves will be completely shattered if that’s the case.

In the next round Benetton face the Sharks away from home and then the Bulls the following week, much as I don’t like to rely on other teams to help our position we all know how hard it is to play against the South African teams away. That could be our way in to the top eight.

Connacht also have a tricky few matches facing Munster, Stormers and Leinster in their last three rounds while Ulster face Scarlets, Leinster and Munster. None of us have it easy at this end of the season.

We need to be at our best over the next three matches and hope that someone else stumbles.

Take advantage of our rest weekend next weekend because we are in for a rollercoaster ride as we head to the end of the season.