Josh Turnbull insists Cardiff Blues are licking their lips at having another crack at Saracens in front of a packed Cardiff Arms Park crowd next week.
Wales’ Capital Region put in a spirited performance at Allianz Park on Sunday, but the two-times Heineken Champions Cup winners sealed a bonus point win following a ruthless second half.
However, Turnbull is excited to face the current English champions again, and says the upcoming trio of festive derbies are crucial to the side’s campaign.
The utility forward said: “It will be tough to face them again next week, but that’s the good thing about Europe.
“You can bounce back straight away and you get a second crack at them.
“We want to go out next week and put a few wrongs right.
“It’s massive when you have a full Cardiff Arms Park, and it does make a difference. That’s what you want to have every week.
“We then want to target three back-to-back derbies and they will be huge for us if we want to kick on in the Guinness PRO14 campaign. We need to win those games.”
A Blaine Scully try, followed by a sensational individual effort from Matthew Morgan, saw John Mulvihill’s side head into the interval with a five-point advantage in London.
However, the likes of Alex Goode, Owen Farrell and Mako Vunipola steered Saracens to victory, as the visitors suffered a series of injury blows.
Turnbull believes there were plenty of positives in the performance but praised the quality of the opposition.
“In the first half, we were well in the game for that 40 minutes,” said the Welsh international.
“We were physical and dominant in defence, we knocked them back and scored a couple of nice tries.
“We knew what was to come and the difficult thing is the squad they have, and what they brought to control that second half.
“They put pressure on us, and managed to score a couple of tries through individual error and probably a little bit of luck as well.
“We’ll have a look at the game and take the good from it, but also look at the negatives in order to improve before next week.
“Saracens have proven time and time again what quality they have in their squad. They’re not two-times European champions for nothing.
“You just need to look at the depth they had coming on and the talent they had there.
“We picked up a few knocks and bruises and the boys will have to manage themselves this week before we go again on Saturday.
“We lost our nine and 12, our 13 picked up a knock, as did some of the forwards. It was an attritional and physical game and you don’t expect anything different from a Sarries team.”
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