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Hammer: Costly turnovers proved decisive

14th September 2014

Boss Mark Hammett admitted costly turnovers had ultimately 'stung' his Cardiff Blues as they suffered a 33-12 defeat to Glasgow Warriors - but insisted his team would learn and get better for the experience.

A pulsating and power-packed Guinness PRO12 opener at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park saw Blues recover from a first half try from Sean Lamont to stage a second half fight-back.

The boot of Rhys Patchell cut the lead to a point and Blues looked to be in the ascendancy before an intercept try from Niko Matawalu – when last year’s league runners-up Glasgow were down to 14 men – ensured the Scottish could pull clear in the final 20 minutes.

Hammer said: “The intercept try was a turning point as we certainly had started to get the momentum.

“They scored two opportunistic tries, and one very well worked one, from turnovers. The turnovers were very costly, clearly that was the game.

“I thought our set piece throughout the game, and the forwards in general if we take away the clean out area, performed very well.

“But around the 60 minute mark they got over ten points with a man down and that stung us.”

Hammer did praise the performance of his forward pack as the set piece and scrum dominated.

But Glasgow’s work at the breakdown proved crucial as they stopped Blues building momentum.

“Glasgow were aggressive at the breakdown and their tackler double actions were outstanding. At times our support wasn’t good enough.

“At times we didn’t keep the correct shape, we were low on numbers, and at times our pattern of play didn’t work for us. Often we would go a couple of phases without drawing them in and then go back to where they were strong.

“It’s not just a well-drilled Glasgow side at the breakdown; we need to grow our game and understand our roles.

“If you look at Glasgow’s offload game, I thought we shut it down not too badly. Defensively I thought we were very physical and didn’t quite get the same reward over the ball as them, but we will look at the videos.

“We’ve been working really hard as a forward pack and we got good reward out of the set piece and drive. We didn’t always get the reward that I felt our lineout drive deserved. It’s still early days so hopefully we will learn from today.”