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Some Moore Quality Rugby

Some Moore Quality Rugby

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Andy Moore played 140 matches for Cardiff – but he hopes to make it all black for his old club in the Celtic League semi-final at The Gnoll on Saturday, January 4.

The 34-year-old Wales scrum-half, going as strong as ever, spent 11 seasons at the Arms Park before arriving at Neath in the summer of 2001 via Richmond and Benetton Treviso.

Now it is his new club against his old for a place in the Celtic League final at the Millennium Stadium on February 1 – and Moore is desperate for the Welsh All Blacks to be the ones flying the flag for Wales against either Munster or Ulster.

“Split loyalties? No way,” said Moore, who made a try-scoring debut for Wales in the 1995 World Cup match against Japan in South Africa.

“If I did, then I shouldn’t be playing. I have got a big connection with Cardiff – and still look for Cardiff’s results when we come off the pitch, and that sort of thing – but it is Neath I am playing for and Neath get 100 per cent from Andy Moore every time he plays.

“Any game against Cardiff is a big one and obviously, because of my little tradition with Cardiff, there is an extra edge for me. There is so much apathy and lack of direction in Welsh rugby at the moment that we need games like this with an extra edge to them.

“This will be a tough Welsh tussle – with the beauty that Wales are guaranteed a team in the final and I just hope they are in all black!

“It will almost certainly be a very tight game – I imagine something similar to our quarter-final at Pontypridd – though hopefully a little bit more entertaining.

“That is the nature of these Cup games – you don’t see many good semi-finals in terms of open rugby and bits and pieces but they are always very tight and keenly contested affairs.

“This semi-final is massive, just massive and coach Lyn Jones has made no secret that he wants to get some silverware.”

And both Neath and Cardiff have made it to the last four – Munster and Ulster clash in the other semi-final in Limerick on Friday night – the hard way, winning away from home in the quarter-finals.

It was lucky 13 for Neath as they did it by a point at Pontypridd while Cardiff stunned Edinburgh Rugby with a 26-22 win at Meadowbank.

The Welsh All Blacks edged it 13-12 at Sardis Road while Cardiff travelled to the Scottish capital as clear underdogs but rocked Todd Blackadder’s team with a marvellous comeback, looking dead and buried at 16 points adrift only to storm home.

“Cardiff showed a lot of resolve to win up there – that was a big point in their season,” said Moore, voted man-of-the-match when Cardiff beat Llanelli 15-8 in the 1994 Welsh Cup final.

“They had been drifting along and all of a sudden there was something different that had been missing and to win up there, to come back from 19-3, that shows some resolve.

“Ours was not a classic game at Ponty but, with the Cup, it is all about being in the next round.

“The same thing goes for the semi-finals and while I have had some great occasions at finals – the 1990 Varsity Match, the 1994 Welsh Cup final and the 1996 Heineken Cup final for Cardiff against Toulouse – it will marvellous if we can get to the final and play at the Millennium Stadium.”

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