Will Boyde has highlighted the strength of character and resilience building at Cardiff Rugby after the Blue and Blacks battled to a slender United Rugby Championship victory over the Dragons.
Dai Young’s men conceded two early tries and lost three players to injury in a chaotic first-half and then saw Rey Lee-Lo sent off early in the second-half.
However, they defied the odds and displayed plenty of maturity as they targeted their East Wales rivals at the set-piece and ground out a deserved 31-29 victory.
Boyde said: “Fair play to the Dragons, coming here this afternoon, they blew us away in the first 20 minutes. We were in the pits there but we showed good character, especially with the injuries and red card to get back in the game and win.
“It was quite comfortable until they scored at the end. It just proves how much this squad is building now.
“It tends to go one way or another in those situations (when a player is sent off). You either crumble or you get closer together and fight that bit more for each other. It shows the strength this team has and I’m really proud of that.”
Boyde also received plenty of personal accolades following another uncompromising performance, in which he won five breakdown turnovers.
The open side was handed the United Rugby Championship Player of the Game award but after spending almost all of last season on the sidelines due to an eye injury, he is just happy to be back on the pitch in front of the vociferous Arms Park faithful.
He added: “I’m just happy to be playing. I’m getting the credit tonight but (the breakdown) is something I pride myself on each week and I’m happy to be given the man-of-the-match award.”