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Boss warns no repeat of first half

13th October 2013

Director of Rugby Phil Davies praised the character of his Cardiff Blues as they battled back to claim a try bonus point in Heineken Cup defeat to Exeter Chiefs - but acknowledged the first half display at Sandy Park was simply not good enough.

Blues trailed 36-3 at half-time in Devon as the Chiefs ruthlessly ran in five tries to leave the visitors stunned.

A second half fight-back from Blues saw Lloyd Williams, Robin Copeland, Alex Cuthbert and Harry Robinson cross the whitewash and claim a point from the European encounter.

Davies was pleased to claim the point and the way his side responded to adversity against the English outfit.

However, he was not hiding from the facts of a first half show that he insisted cannot be repeated against defending champions Toulon at Cardiff Arms Park next weekend.

“Obviously we weren’t happy with the first half – that’s an understatement,” he said.

“We talked about it at half time. We didn’t do anything we intended to do, particularly with our kicking game, in the first half. It gave them too many opportunities to come back at us.

“I think they made us make 100 tackles and we missed 20 and that’s not good enough at this level.

“You have to give Exeter credit for the way they played and in the second half we were a bit more like it. We had four tries and I was pleased to get that point in the end,” he added.

“I can’t do anything about it now, it’s gone. All we could do is have a chat at half time, which we did, and then we got some points back on the board. We have gained a bit of momentum going into next week.

“Credit to Exeter, but we came back in the second half and scored those four tries. We had far more control of the game, far more momentum, far more field position and I am happy with that.”

Next up for Blues are the star-studded Toulon side at the Arms Park on Saturday and Davies knows Blues must be more defensively strong against the attack minded Top 14 side.

“We’ll fix up what we need to fix up and go into Toulon with a bit of momentum,” he said.

“There will be a bit of work done on defence in training. We are working hard, although perhaps you wouldn’t think that looking at the first half. We put a lot of effort and work into it and that is going to continue. We have to get back on the bike and move forward again.

“We are a team at the end of the day and we are in this together,” he insisted. “We just have to keep on doing what we have to do and just get back in there and get on with it.

“Next week we want to start and play for 80 minutes the way we played in the last 40 today.”