Blog Banner

Hodges pride as Blues claim derby win

14th November 2014

Academy Manager Richard Hodges praised his young Cardiff Blues for digging out the win as they defeated Scarlets 19-13 at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park to remain undefeated in the LV=Cup.

Captain Ellis Jenkins crashed over the crucial second half try while Simon Humberstone and Will Thomas kicked the points.

Blues handed out five debuts on the night while a number of player made a first ever appearance on home soil.

And Hodges was rightly proud of the way they performed as Blues backed up the comeback win in Newcastle with another LV=Cup victory to keep the winning habit going at the region.

He said: “We dug it out and we are two out of two for the competition and in the mix before the Wasps and Leicester games next year.

“There is an element of frustration, I’m sure on both sides, when you get an occasion when there is so much young talent on show, but the game never really took-off and got going.

“Defences were solid on either side and we were inaccurate with the ball, particularly in the first half. We only got over four phases three times.

“Just as we were beginning to get into our structures and gain territory we were making errors. That is what we looked to address at half-time.

“But, ultimately, it’s two out of two in the LV=Cup and for the region it is four out of five in all competitions.

“Without that last minute loss to Munster we would have been five from five. The whole region is definitely heading in the right direction.”

Hodges also praised the way in which a number of young players stood up, particularly in closing out the game in tense final few minutes.

“Over half our team tonight were making their debut at that level at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park,” he said. “We then unloaded the bench, but one thing we said all week was that we would be bold with our replacements, whatever the state of the game we were going to use them.

“We wanted to see Tomos Williams, Will Thomas, Ben Roach, Brad Thyer and Liam Belcher. We want to give them exposure and see how they go. They took that to the next level.

“Players like Liam Belcher came on with his carrying game, was busy and his arm was good. You could see the strength in depth we have in some positions.

“Will Thomas comes in and shows his good step, puts us on the front foot and we win the penalty to close the game out.

“We know a lot about these players but maybe other people don’t. We want to give them exposure.

“A lot of this squad will now disseminate back into the Principality Premiership with Cardiff and Pontypridd. Some players will have to step up for the Guinness PRO12.

“But what that second half in Newcastle did was bring this group tight. I think you saw that tonight in the final two minutes and the way we closed the game out. We’re rightly proud of them.”