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Hammer: Impact off bench secured us points

4th October 2014

Director of Rugby Mark Hammett admitted the impact of second half replacements had inspired Cardiff Blues to a fight-back 24-24 draw at Connacht in the Guinness PRO12 on Friday night.

Blues looked set to crash to defeat at the Sportsground as home tries from Robbie Henshaw, Kiernan Marmion and Nathan White cancelled out an opener from full back Adam Thomas and put the Irish province 24-10 up with ten minutes to play.

But scores from Macauley Cook and a dramatic final minute try from replacement prop Sam Hobbs – after a lengthy TMO decision – saw Blues power back to claim a share of the spoils.

Hammer acknowledged individual errors had undermined the efforts of Cardiff Blues, but he was pleased with a number of players who added fresh impetus and drive from the bench.

He said: “For the first half an hour our performance, in terms of where we wanted to attack, was good.

“But again, and this has been biting us, we made mistakes like running the ball out, kicking out on the full, not finding touch from penalties.

“Those little individual errors are biting us and when you are away from home and the opposition sees that and gets momentum it makes it harder. Those are the things you need to take away from the opposition.

“On the other side of it, I felt Connacht played a really nice style. They held onto the ball better and I thought, to be honest, they came with a bit more passion, which we cannot allow to happen again.

“I thought the impact of our bench was quite outstanding. We got from them something we need to start with and have for the full 80 minutes,” he added.

“They did a great job and got us back in the game. It was obviously an anxious wait for the try in the final minute, but importantly the right decision was made in the end.”