Duane Goodfield was delighted to see Cardiff Blues display their strength-in-depth, as they came out on top in the inaugural Syft International Challenge against Uruguay.
John Mulvihill’s side crossed for seven tries against the South American outfit, as Dan Fish starred on his 100th appearance for the region, picking up the Syft Man-of-the-Match award.
Scrum coach, Goodfield, is pleased to see Fish bounce back from two back-to-back serious injuries, and believes these type of fixtures are valuable playing experiences for both senior and academy players.
“We were delighted to get the victory, and to get the win. It gives us a bit of momentum, going forward, and we have a bit of a break now, so to finish with a result is really positive for this group, and particularly for the youngsters who had an opportunity tonight,” said Goodfield.
“A lot of boys out there have played over the last two weeks in the Guinness PRO14, so they’ve had a little bit of an exposure there.
“For them to go again tonight was good for us as a senior coaching group, to see them playing live at the Arms Park.
“They’re coming in off a good block of ‘A’ team rugby. A lot of the academy and senior boys have played together in that competition. They’ve played together quite a bit by now and it was nice for them to go at it again tonight.
“Speaking to John [Mulvihill] and Jason [Strange], they definitely see Dan Fish’s potential to play 10. He has a good skill-set, but the reality is that he’s had a horrific injury in the past and he’s recovered really well.
“You’re starting to see glimpses of Dan Fish at his best now and we already know that he’s a good full back. But with Jarrod [Evans] and Gareth [Anscombe] in the Welsh squad, it was an opportunity to play Dan.
“He’s got more experience around the field than the academy boys coming through so he’s done well and it was great for him to get his 100th cap and captain the team.”
Goodfield has been working with a number of promising front row talent in the Cardiff Blues ranks over the past few years, including Rhys Carré, who also stood out against Uruguay.
The former hooker is excited by the number of youngsters putting their hands up for selection, but also recognises the challenges that faces the coaching team.
Goodfield said: “It’s really encouraging with the depth we have coming through at front row. They are young, so that’s a real positive but also a challenge.
“The reality is that they will be playing sooner, rather than later. Boys will pick up injuries and someone like Dillon has been selected for Wales, so these these boys will have opportunities earlier now than they ever have.
“We need to get them ready earlier and that’s the challenge. We need to be patient with these players. They’re talented, they’ve got bright futures but it's our responsibility to make sure they come through and flourish at the right times.”