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Hodges focussed on positives from Anglo-Welsh Cup campaign

18th November 2017

Richard Hodges has focussed on the positives following last night's Anglo-Welsh Cup defeat to Ospreys.

Following a scoreless first half, where Hodges’ side dominated both possession and territory but were unable to turn pressure into points, the visitors crossed for two second half tries to seal victory.

Hodges was encouraged by the first half performance and was delighted to see the region’s promising youngsters gain valuable experience.

“We came in at half time with 67% possession and 70% territory, but we weren’t able to break down a very resolute and strong Ospreys defence,” said Hodges.

“We got ourselves in a much stronger position during the course of the first half compared to last week, but in the second half we went from a no-point first half to a 42-point second half."

While Hodges was disappointed with the defeat he maintains the priority must be on development and has pointed to the Blues’ first team squad as proof of the strategy.

In previous seasons the likes of Kieron Assiratti, Corey Domachowski, Seb Davies and Jarrod Evans would be restricted to Anglo-Welsh competition but such has been their success that they have been mainstays in the first team squad. 

And the focus is now firmly on a return to Guinness PRO14 action and a vital Arms Park clash with Connacht on Friday.

Hodges said: "As I said in the week, the boys who played in this competitions last year, the likes of Dillon Lewis, Seb Davies and Jarrod Evans, look where they’re playing now. They’re playing week-after-week in our first week.

“While you don’t get the wins on the scoreboard, which is hugely disappointing and tonight was a missed opportunity, we are bringing through those players and the landscape in Wales means we have much smaller squads than what we face across the bridge.

“You look at our first team and the amount of home-grown talent we have in there, as there is across all four regions. There’s a lot of good young Welsh players.

“We’ve had more boys coming to the tournament and made their debuts for the region over the last couple of week, and hopefully they’ve got a long and successful future at the region.

“From a player development point-of-view, it’s a very successful competition and you just have to look at the boys who played last year.

“Seb Davies played a full game down at Exeter and is now starting for Wales tomorrow.

“There are certainly wins to hang your hats on but at the end of the day you want to win games and players develop quicker in a winning environment.”