Ellis Jenkins was elated as Cardiff Blues advanced to the European Challenge Cup final with an impressive victory over Pau.
The openside flanker picked up the Heineken man-of-the-match award at a packed Cardiff after causing chaos at the Pau breakdown.
Jenkins, Josh Navidi, Nick Williams, Josh Turnbull and Olly Robinson all profited at the contact area as the Blues soaked up huge pressure.
They will now face Gloucester in the showpiece final on May 11 in Bilbao.
Jenkins said: “It comes all across the park, we talk about backs bringing the line speed and forwards making the most out of it. You can tell how much we enjoy playing together, we had 10 days away together in South Africa last week and love playing together.
“That’s been the case all season. Everyone talks about how good we look with ball in hand but that all comes down to the foundation you lay in defence.
“You pressure them, they make mistakes and we have some electric backs, Jarrod (Evans), Rey (Lee-Lo), Willis (Halaholo), Laney (Owen Lane), all of the boys – they are so dangerous with ball in hand. If we could stop their boys coming forward, put them under pressure and let those boys have fun that is what works for us.
“It was a tough game and plenty of the boys were really digging in with five, 10 minutes to go but there was great character shown. They kept coming and coming, they had some big, big boys but we stuck in there and I’m just ecstatic.
“As long as we can keep everyone fresh and ready to go then we’re just really looking forward to Bilbao.”
More than 11,000 packed into Cardiff Arms Park and Jenkins admits it is right up there with the best atmospheres he has played in.
He was also delighted that the likes of Taufa’ao Filise and Alex Cuthbert, who will join Exeter Chiefs in the summer, the perfect send off.
Jenkins added: “It’s a big crowd that turned up to support us, for Fa’ao Filise, who has been here for such a long time and the big horse Alex Cuthbert as well to send them off like that was great.
“Cuthy was awesome today, unfortunately he got injured but it was nice to give him the send-off he deserves at Cardiff Arms Park.”
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