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Jenkins pleased with derby fightback

7th October 2018

Ellis Jenkins was pleased to lead Cardiff Blues back from behind to inflict a seventh straight Guinness PRO14 victory over the Dragons.

Following three agonising defeats in the final minutes at the start of the season, the Blues have now bounced back with three victories to climb to third in Conference A.

It was far from plain sailing as the Dragons came flying out of the blocks at Rodney Parade and blazed their way to a 12-point lead.

Wales’ Capital Region however, did not panic and regained their composure to battle back from 12-points. Owen Lane scored either side of the break and a Kristian Dacey try, as the Blues compounded their rivals derby woes.

Jenkins said: “It was very tough and there’s lots of bruised bodies in the changing room but we knew it would be tough down here, it always is at Rodney Parade. 

“The crowd gee them up for the game and they came at us. I’m just really proud, we were down at half-time but didn’t panic and knew the conditions would play into our hands in the second-half. 

“We’re fairly pleased but maybe should have got over for a fourth try at the end but we came for a win and got one.

“The message was just not to panic, it was really tough out there and the wind a lot stronger than it looked and we were playing in our half a lot so we had to defend a lot. 

“We knew if we kept the ball in their half then they would make mistakes, we could force mistakes and the breakdown was a battle all game. 

“Both teams were getting a lot of change from it and we got a couple of key turnovers in their half and kept the scoreboard ticking over.

“It was a good finish by Laney in the first half and Chicken (Gareth Anscombe) is a quality player. I thought Jarrod (Evans) was good when he came on as well, he bossed it but it was tough. 

“We got dragged into it a little bit in the first-half but it was always going to be tough and I’m just chuffed we came away with a win.

“It was a tough start, losing three games by a total of five points but we’re just trying to improve, to get better at what we can and be good at the simple things.”

Much was made of individual battles in the lead up to the clash with Warren Gatland assisting the Dragons over the last two weeks and due to name his autumn squad on Tuesday.

And Jenkins enjoyed the ferociously physical encounter.
He added: “It’s boys we are friends with, I had a couple of bangs with Cory during the game but it’s fun going up against your mates and people you are competing against and there’s always a bit of added tension there, which there was. 

“But it’s a good battle, both teams and back-rows showed what they can do.”