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Jenkins disappointed with derby defeat despite promising opening half hour

First Team News | 3rd April 2022

Cardiff were frustrated to slip to a disappointing derby defeat to Scarlets on Saturday, despite an encouraging opening 30 minutes in Llanelli, said Ellis Jenkins.

The visitors took an early lead thanks to Josh Adams’ first half try, and looked to be in the ascendancy with half time approaching.

However, a series of penalties and a Sam Costelow try against the run of play saw momentum swing in the hosts’ favour and Jenkins admits his side’s errors meant they were unable to turn the tide of the game.

“It’s frustrating, and seems to be the story of our season that we can’t back up a win with another good performance,” said the back row, who captained the side in Josh Turnbull’s absence.

“For the first half hour I thought we were really on top but all of a sudden, with two penalties given away in our own 22, they were able to turn the screw in the scrum and it became tough.

“We didn’t panic at half time and looked to make sure that the momentum swing at the end of the first half wasn’t going to ruin the game for us.

“But we couldn’t seem to put phases together. When we did make headway we tried to force it too much, giving the ball away cheaply and were unable to build pressure. Unfortunately they capitalised on that.

“We felt good in those opening stages, even if it was slightly unorganised at times. We were mounting the pressure on them and playing in the right areas of the pitch.

“We got a lot of joy out of the kicking game, which we spoke about before the game, and were really in the game.

“But it just frustratingly fell away for us.”

The sides will meet once again next week in the reverse fixture at Cardiff Arms Park. 

Welsh international Jenkins insists his side are relishing the challenge as they look to build on their promising form at home.

“It’s very rare that you get to play against the same team the week after, so it’s a big challenge for us.

“We’ll go away, look at what we did well and what needs improving and come back a better version of ourselves next week.

“We’re lucky that we’ve got them again next week, and we’re fortunate that we have a chance to put it right.

“All the derbies are big games. I can’t fault the boys effort but that’s a prerequisite for playing for Cardiff.

“We can pat ourselves on the back for effort and want but the performance wasn’t there so we need to improve next week.

“The Arms Park is great, and the fact we’re able to lift our performances there is really good for us. 

“But it’s definitely an issue for us that we can’t replicate performances away from home.

“It seems to be a common theme for us that there is a momentum shift in the other team’s favour and that causes us to fall apart.

“I can’t put my finger on why that is, and neither can anyone else at the moment. But we’ll try to find that reason because we need to improve. It’s as simple as that.

“There is an element of the crowd at the Arms Park, but you can’t expect to do well if you’re losing every game away. That’s something we’ll look at.”