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Frustrated Turnbull demands derby response following Lions defeat.

First Team News | 1st October 2022

Josh Turnbull has called upon Cardiff Rugby to kick their frustrations aside and get back on track in back-to-back Welsh derbies.

The Blue and Blacks captain cut a frustrated figure following a second consecutive BKT United Rugby Championship defeat.

They dominated the first-half against Emirates Lions but failed to convert a number of opportunities and paid the price as the South African outfit ground their way back. 

Cardiff were in losing bonus-point territory and pressing for a winning score in the final 10 minutes before matters were made worse by a fourth Lions try, which left the hosts empty-handed. 

Turnbull’s side travel to Parc y Scarlets next week before three consecutive home games, beginning with the Dragons on Saturday, October 15.

He said: “We could have capitalised a little bit more in the first-half with the opportunities that we had. The territory and possession stats in that first-half were massive for us. 

“But we've just come off the gas little bit, five minutes towards the end of the first half and it obviously didn't help when Toby gets yellow carded. He was quite quick to yellow card him as well I think. 

“Whether they've changed their mindset, they're just go in straight away, but second-half we had one opportunity and we come away with some points. I'm just a little bit gutted that we don't replicate that again.

“We probably need to get back to what we were like against Munster because that's how we imprinted ourselves on the game .

“And there's no better way to do that in derbies in the next couple of weeks, Probably too many times today we gave possession up too lightly.

“Derbies are won on fine margins and we didn't fare too well last year in the derbies. So we'll look to rebuild this week and get going. I'll be making sure we come back into work on Monday and we're looking to get better as a squad.

“We need to move forward and we we rock up next weekend looking to get W. If you bring in the factor that we didn't fare too well in derbies last season, that’s a massive (motivating) factor for me. If you want European qualification, you've got to win your derby games, you've got to win that Welsh Shield.”

Discipline is an area Cardiff will be desperate to improve. While they won’t agree with all refereeing decisions, they found themselves trailing 16-3 on the penalty count approaching the final 10 minutes. 

That made it all the more difficult to build pressure and get back into encounter, with the Lions remaining in control. 

And the Cardiff club captain is acutely aware that his side must find a way to stay in the battle and salvage something, even in defeat. 

He added: “I know we're a long way from the end of the season, but we have to come away from games with something whether that’s a win, or whether it's losing bonus points for tries or within a score. We have to flick that mindset that we have to come with games with something.

“It's frustrating. A lot of the penalties and infringements were for a wide variety of things. Not rolling away, scrum penalties, up the side of mauls. To have (the penalty count) 16-3 at one point - that’s frustrating and it's momentum changers, swings. You can be down in one end of the field and quickly, 2 penalties later, your 10 metres from your try-line or defending a scrum.

“The South Africans know and understand how to build pressure quite easily and from one end of the field to the other. It’s always going to be tough when you're against the big pack like that.

“It's shown with the South African teams coming in the you have to value that area of the game, especially when you're five to 10 metres out because it can cause such problems. 

“The benefit of a strong drive is you can run your breakout plays. It looks like a drive, breakout, gone, It's tough to defend when you know your your pack is (isn't) on the front foot.” 

Cardiff host the Dragons at the Arms Park on Saturday, October 15. Tickets are available now by calling 029 20 302030 during office hours or clicking here.