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Evans thrilled with man-of-the-match performance

21st January 2018

Jarrod Evans was delighted to play a starring role as Cardiff Blues capped off the group stages of the European Challenge Cup with another French double.

The young fly-half had a hand in two tries and picked up the Heineken man-of-the-match award for his performance at Stadium Matmut.

His side were already guaranteed a place in the last eight but they were determined to go into the quarter-finals with momentum and they made it five wins from six in the group stages.

The Blues made the worst possible start as they conceded a try straight from the kick-off but they fought back in difficult conditions with Evans making a break to put away his scrum-half, first Lloyd Williams and then Tomos Williams either side of the interval and a penalty try.

Evans said: “It was a bit of a mixed bag for me – I picked up the yellow card but luckily I had a hand in the two tries but credit goes to both scrum-halves for getting on the inside to support because otherwise neither try would have been score. 

“There was a lot of room to move and challenge defences, that’s the kind of game I like to play.

“It wasn’t an ideal start straight off kick-off and then to go 12-0 down but we dominated territory and had a lot of chances but just didn’t take them. 

“At half-time we just said that we weren’t there mentally and in defence they were winning the collisions and our work-rate off the ball could have been better. 

“In the second-half we turned up mentally in defence and with the ball. We looked after the ball a bit better and had to defend the driving line-outs and scrums at the end, which shows the resilience of this side.”

Evans has featured in five of the Blues’ six games in Europe, starting also in the 17-15 win out in Toulouse last October.

Recording home and away victories over two French opponents is undeniably a remarkable achievement, particularly as both squads were packed with young, home grown talent. 

Evans added: “They are two big sides with a lot of star names. They are two big performaces from us and we showed a lot of effort and against Toulouse. 

“We’re glad to come away with two wins and just feel if we get our effort right, nine times from 10 our performance leads from that and a result leads from that.

“A lot of us have come through together, we’re starting to play together and we’re starting to gel as a side. It was a really young side against Toulouse but it’s all great exposure for the boys.

“It doesn’t really matter where we go in the quarter-finals (Edinburgh), it’s just getting our performance right.”