Jamie Roberts believes in Blues' cause at Ospreys

Jamie Roberts, James Hook, Martyn Williams and Mike Phillips tussle in December 2010
Jamie Roberts, James Hook, Martyn Williams and Mike Phillips tussle during the Blues and Ospreys' clash in December 2010

Jamie Roberts says Cardiff Blues go to Liberty Stadium to face the Ospreys in their crunch Magners League clash stung by the 26-0 defeat there last season.

The Wales centre believes the Blues can win, but believes defeat would not be the end of their title hopes.

Ospreys and Blues are among six realistic play-off challengers.

Roberts said: "We'll be going into this game knowing we can turn them over and hurting as well from the thumping we took down there last season."

The British and Irish Lions also expects the encounter to reach Test-level intensity, citing their New Year's Eve meeting at Cardiff City Stadium as an example.

The Blues led 17-3 at the break in that encounter only for the Ospreys to fight back.

Roberts said: "I don't think it would be the end of our play-off hopes if we lost.

"In our run-in we've got Trevsio, Connacht, [Newport Gwent] Dragons and Scarlets - games we must target to win, albeit with three of them on the road.

"Our away form has been good in previous seasons, but… it doesn't come any bigger than playing the Ospreys away from home with a lot of international players.

"Certainly the match when we played them New Year's Eve down here [in Cardiff] was more or less of international intensity.

"It was a pretty brutal game and we pulled through well that day.

"It's a huge game both for us and the Ospreys.

"Attention is solely focused now on the Magners League now we're both out of Europe it's a great chance for both of us if we hold good form towards the end of the season to get into the play-offs.

"And what makes it more of a mouth-watering match is that we both lost last weekend.

"We got pipped at home by Munster and the Ospreys lost in Edinburgh so it's a huge game for both teams."

Ospreys: Richard Fussell; Tommy Bowe, Sonny Parker, James Hook, Nikki Walker; Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb; Paul James, Huw Bennett, Adam Jones, Alun Wyn Jones (capt), Ian Evans, Ryan Jones, Justin Tipuric, Jerry Collins.Replacements: Richard Hibbard, Ryan Bevington, Cai Griffiths, Ian Gough, Jonathan Thomas, Mike Phillips, Andrew Bishop, Lee Byrne.

Blues: Chris Czekaj; Leigh Halfpenny, Casey Laulala, Jamie Roberts, Tom James; Dan Parks Richie Rees; Fau Fiise, Gareth Williams, Scott Andrews, Bradley Davies, Paul Tito (capt), Andries Pretorius, Martyn Williams, Xavier Rush.Replacements: Rhys Williams, Sam Hobbs, Nathan Trevett, Michael Paterson, Ma'ama Molitika, Lloyd Williams, Ceri Sweeney, Dafydd Hewitt.

Referee: Christophe Berdos (France)

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