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Cardiff Blues must concentrate on performances rather than results - Shingler

13th August 2018

Steven Shingler insists Cardiff Blues must concentrating on performances, rather than results, during their pre-season friendly matches.

The outside half starred as Wales’ Capital Region suffered a last gasp defeat to Leicester Tigers in the season opener at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday.

But Shingler says any pre-season results could be irrelevant by the opening competitive fixture against defending champions, Leinster, at the Arms Park on August 31.

“You don’t win any trophies from pre-season if you win two from two, and if you’d go on to lose your first two competitive games then you’d be really disappointed,” said Shingler.

“You flip that on the head, and you go zero-to-two but win against Leinster, you’d take that. 

“Hopefully it will be a bit nicer up in Exeter, and we can play the brand of rugby we’ve shown at the Arms Park and score some tries. 

“You then want to put both games together, learn from them going into Leinster, who are defending PRO14 and European champions, so it will be a big test.”

John Mulvihill named a side containing a mix of youth and experience against Leicester, with Shingler amongst the senior players in the starting XV.

The former Scarlets and London Irish playmaker was pleased with the way his side dealt with adverse weather conditions, and will take plenty of positives from the first outing of the season.

Shingler said: “I was happy with the way we adjusted to the weather. It was a little bit frustrating, as it’s been lovely for training at the Vale resort for the two months we’ve been training, but we’ve come out here and it was a bit of a dampener.

“We still tried to play, but in those conditions, you probably have to put a little bit more boot-to-ball, which we did in the second half and it paid off for us.

“The plan was to keep the ball in-hand and attack them, but obviously the weather will always dictate, and we had to adjust.

“We had some nice kicking option on the field, especially with Dan Fish whose a left-footer. Ben Jones came on, played well and we played in the right areas.

“We’ll learn a lot about closing games out, and in those weather conditions, the games will always tend to be close. We had a young group of boys who will learn and move on.

“As an outside-half, you’ll always have a leadership role within the team. It was good to have a youthful team, but with a nice mix of the experience of Willis and the two wings. 

“I thought Jason was really good in his first game, and he got over the line after Fishy’s bicycle kick.

“There were plenty of positives, it was good to see the boys out there and it was good to get some minutes under the belt.”

Champions collide in the Welsh capital, as Cardiff Blues host Leinster for the opening Guinness PRO14 clash of the campaign on Friday, August 31. Make sure you've got the hottest ticket in town NOW!