Josh Turnbull believes consistency is key for Cardiff Blues, as they prepare for a crucial block of action in both the Guinness PRO14 and Heineken Champions Cup.
John Mulvihill’s side signed off the first portion of the campaign with a comprehensive bonus point win over Zebre on Sunday, while a young outfit defeated Uruguay two days later in the Syft International Challenge.
The utility forward admits that parts of the season has been frustrating, but has also been encouraged by his side’s character when the pressure is on.
“John spoke to us and said that we’ve won five of the last seven games across both competitions, which makes it look better than it has done previously this season,” said Turnbull.
“That’s important for us, moving forward. We owed Zebre one, after our performance out there earlier this season, because we weren’t good enough, and I think we put that right on Sunday.
“The first block of games has probably been a little bit of a mixed bag for us. We started off against Leinster at home, and it was a real good game, but we came from the game with a loss.
“Those two losses out in Italy were tough to take, but we bounced back against Munster and Cheetahs.
“The biggest thing for us this season, moving forward, will be to find a little bit of consistency, especially when we come off the back of the international games.
“We have a lot of games coming up, and that block will be very important for us before the Six Nations comes around.”
Sunday saw Gethin Jenkins make his 195th and final Cardiff Blues appearance, as Wales’ most capped international retired due to injury.
Turnbull was delighted to give the prop a fitting finale, and believes the side can be proud of how they implemented their gameplan against the Italian outfit.
“It was a pretty emotional week for Gethin, I think. He told the whole group on Wednesday that this was going to be his last game,” said the Welsh international.
“He’s been around for such a long time and we are going to miss him. He’s part of the furniture here, basically.
“He leads by example in everything he does, both on and off the field. Even when he came on [against Zebre] you know he was there because his chat is so good.
“He’s been like that throughout his career, and it’s been a pleasure to play with him.
“It was good to send the big guy off with a win. It was a little bit tit-for-tat in the first half and we didn’t get any rhythm into our game.
“But in the second half, we really controlled it and put pressure on them, and got our rewards when we scored some pretty decent tries.
“In previous games, we’ve tried to put teams away too early and end up costing ourselves later in the game.
“But the gameplan really put pressure on Zebre, forced them to make mistakes and allowed us to capitalise on that. It was pretty similar to what we did for the Munster game.”