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Jenkins eager to continue feel-good factor

28th March 2018

Gethin Jenkins is determined to continue the feel-good factor at Cardiff Blues, as they prepare to take on Edinburgh in Saturday's Challenge Cup quarter-final.

Danny Wilson’s side head to Murrayfield on the back of a seven-game winning streak in PRO14 and Europe, while Edinburgh have picked up five consecutive wins of their own. 

Club captain, Jenkins, says the squad are full of confidence following their recent run of form, but insists they will have to be at their best for the full 80 minutes in order to stand a chance against Richard Cockerill’s side. 

“There’s a good feel around the place. The boys come in on a Monday or a Tuesday with smiles on their faces,” said Jenkins.

“It’s something that we want to continue and something we need to be ruthless with each other about, in order to keep it going on the weekend.

"The way we’ve been building, and the way confidence has been building in some of the boys, hopefully that will come across on Saturday.

“It’s a massive game to build on the form that we’ve had recently. In a one-off occasion you hope that everyone is switched on and we turn out to put in a good performance.

"It’s a big game for everyone at the club this weekend. We obviously played Gloucester last year, but we feel that we dominated the group stage this time and put some good performances in.

“We’ve played some good attacking rugby and we’ve got a really attacking mind-set. Hopefully us forwards can do the business first and then that will give the likes of Jarrod, Rey and Willis the space to do some damage.

“The hardest games before this one was Toulouse at home and Toulouse away. Away games are a different challenge. You’re away from your own bed, you’re out of the country and you’re also facing the home support.

“Obviously we’ll have a few supporters up there, but they thrive at home and it’s definitely the biggest challenge we’ve faced. It’s about making sure we’re spot on when it comes to kick-off and raring to go.”

The arrival of former Leicester Tigers and Toulon coach, Cockerill, at the Scottish capital has turned Edinburgh’s fortunes this season.

Sitting in third-place in Conference B, they are currently on-track to qualify for the PRO14 play-off for the first time since 2003, and Jenkins has been impressed with the former England hooker’s work at Myreside.

The 129-times capped Welsh international said: “We’ve had a good run of results, but also been keeping an eye out on them for the last month, since we knew we’d play them.

“They’ve put in some really gritty performances, with a lot of last-minute wins and they’ll be excited for this game as well.

“I went up to the Guinness PRO14 launch at the start of the season out in Dublin, with captains and coaches there, and Richard Cockerill was there. I ended up having breakfast with him, and he’s a coach who just wants to bring spirit to the team and his stamp on the game.

“It was early days then, but he seems to have grown them as a team.

“They’re contact area is good defensively, they’ve got a big kicking game and they’ve got threats behind. The likes of Blair Kinghorn and others they’ve got have recently been playing well for Scotland in the Six Nations.”