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Bonus point win a fitting way to send off Gethin Jenkins - Mulvihill

4th November 2018

John Mulvihill was believes Sunday's bonus point victory over Zebre was a fitting way for Gethin Jenkins to bow out of his illustrious career in professional rugby.

Wales’ most capped international came off-the-bench to make his 195th and final appearance for his home region, and was given an overwhelming reception by the Cardiff Arms Park crowd.

Mulvihill was delighted that Jenkins finished “on his own terms”, and is excited at the prospect of the prop joining the coaching team at Wales’ Capital Region.

“Our focus this week was to make sure that we send the legend of Welsh rugby off, the way he should. I think the boys particularly stepped it up in the second half and finished with some really good rugby,” said the head coach. 

“The driving scrum to go over from five meters out was absolutely fantastic, and a fitting way to finish. You had Keiron Assiratti, a young guy, alongside Gethin and also Kristian Dacey, who has been here a while, so it was nice to see them finish that way.

“Gethin has been really good over the last couple of weeks. Our big thing was that we wanted him to go out on his own terms. 

“We have a lot of intellectual property in him, his knowledge of rugby is fantastic and we wanted to keep that at the club.

“We’d spoken over the last number of months about his inclusion in teams, when he’d be ready, but he came to me a couple of weeks ago and said that he wasn’t right and he’d like to finish.

“I said that I wanted him to finish with a game at home and that we owed that to him as a club. As rugby fans, they wanted to see him run around for the last time. It was always our intention for him to finish the way he wanted to, and he did that.

“He doesn’t say too much, but when he does talk, people listen. He’s also got a glaring stare that can say a lot more than words.

“The good thing about him, moving forward as a coach, is that his attention to detail will be very good and that will be great for us.”

The win takes Mulvihill’s side to fourth place in conference A of the Guinness PRO14.

After Tuesday’s Syft International Challenge clash against Uruguay, the Blues have almost two weeks until they return to Championship action, at Glasgow.

The Australian said all focus is on keeping within touching distance of the top of Conference A, but is encouraged by his side’s recent form.

Mulvihill said: “We needed that bonus point win. We needed to get something out of last week’s game, even if it was just a point, but we’ll be there or there about.

“We’re currently fourth but only two points off second at the moment. The games coming up against Glasgow and Ulster, leading into the derbies, are going to be massive to where we’ll be sitting in the ladder in five or six weeks time.

“We’ve won five out of the last seven games in both competitions and we’ve done reasonably well.

“That win tonight keeps us in-touch with everyone and it was a big focus to get a win to also send Gethin off in the right way.

“But it was also about getting our season back started again. We have Uruguay on Tuesday, then the boys will have a week off and we’ll come back into a two-week preparation for Glasgow.

“We’ll have a lot coming at us, including Saracens in a few weeks time which will be exciting, but before we get there we have a couple of big ones in the PRO14.”