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Evans praises Cardiff Blues fitness and passion in Calvisano win

Blues News | 18th November 2019


Jarrod Evans was delighted to see his side display a combination of fitness and passion to seal maximum points from the opening round of Challenge Cup action.

The playmaker was named man-of-the-match as Cardiff Blues kicked off their European campaign with a bonus point win in Calvisano.

Wales’ Capital Region crossed for five tries against the Italian outfit, with James Botham, Rey Lee-Lo and Harri Millard adding to first half efforts from Seb Davies and Matthew Morgan.

Evans admits his side had to dig deep to secure the win, but was left impressed with his side’s character, especially considering the number of players making their European debuts for the region.

“We’re happy to come here and get the win. We knew it was going to be a tough place to come,” said the Welsh international.

“We’ve been here four years ago, and it was similar again, where they were in the game for about 50 minutes.

“But our fitness and heart from our boys got us over the line in the end. 

“We knew we had quality on the field, and there were times where we were under pressure and didn’t help ourselves through our handling.

“There were eight changes and a few boys making their debuts in Europe, and I thought they stood up unbelievably under that pressure and I’m glad to see them getting their first game for the region.

“The field and the conditions didn’t help us and we couldn’t get our game going as well as we’d like.

“We came through in the end and start brightly. We had a few opportunities in the first half, and if we’d have put them to bed then we wouldn’t have been in that position in the second half.

“It weren’t meant to be in the first half but we came through with the win.

“We’ve got younger boys alongside the experienced boys now, and it’s about picking that confidence up and get them talking a bit more around the park. Things will start falling into place for us.”

The outside half maintained a 100 per cent record as he picked up his second consecutive man-of-the-match award, following a stand-out performance against Toyota Cheetahs a week earlier.

Following a tough start to the season, Evans is confident that the side is turning a corner as he also feels his own confidence growing as the season continues.

“Kicking is something I’ve worked hard on - with Ben Thomas and Dan Fish - with Nick MacLeod so I’m happy to get that 100 per cent record, especially with a few tough kicks.

“I’m going to continue that throughout the season and hopefully be able to deliver something similar throughout.

“We probably started the season off a bit slow, both as a team in general and for myself.

“But I feel like we’re starting to click a bit more. It weren’t easy out there this weekend, but I’m happy to get the two man-of-the-match awards.

“It’s a squad effort at the end of the day and I can only play because of what I’ve got around me.

“The boys really stood up well and the confidence is coming back into the group."

European rugby returns to the Welsh capital on Saturday, November 23. It's a re-match of the infamous 2009 Heineken Cup semi final, as Cardiff Blues and Leicester Tigers write a new chapter in their long-standing European rivalry. Make sure you head down to CAP for what should be a stunning night of European rugby. Tickets available NOW!