Cardiff Blues underachieving says caretaker coach Paul John

Cardiff Blues loss at Scarlets was their 14th Pro12 defeat of the season.
Cardiff Blues loss at Scarlets was their 14th Pro12 defeat of the season.

Caretaker coach Paul John admits Cardiff Blues are "underachieving", but argues they need stability to improve.

John and fellow interim coach Dale McIntosh are among those bidding to become the region's next director of rugby.

The Scarlets suffered a 16-6 defeat away to the Scarlets on Sunday, their 14th Pro12 loss of the season.

"It's a place that should be doing better, without a shadow of a doubt," John said.

John and McIntosh took over from Mark Hammett, the ex-New Zealand hooker who had spent only six month in charge before departing.

Blues lie 10th in the table and will finish below Newport Gwent Dragons, who are ninth, as well as title-chasing Ospreys and Scarlets, who are in the hunt for a European Champions Cup spot.

Pro12 highlights: Scarlets 16-6 Cardiff Blues

Neither of the lowest placed Welsh sides has anything to play for in the tournament's final regular-season round next Saturday, when Blues host Zebre.

Bottom club Zebre can overtake 11-placed Treviso as they vie for Italy's automatic entrant to next season's Champions Cup.

Blues and Dragons will be in the second tier European Challenge Cup, having seen their hopes of challenging for the top tier cross-border competition evaporate earlier in the campaign.

However, former Wales scrum-half John insists the Blues' future can be significantly better: "The amount of rugby players and size of the region is big, but we are underachieving. We all know that.

"We've just got to roll our sleeves up and work hard and stability is the biggest thing.

"And whoever comes in [should be] given an opportunity for three years and build something, because there are some good players here and some players with a good attitude.

"It's an environment that obviously could improve a little bit for different reasons, but this place should be doing better."