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Jenkins pleased with quarter-final performance

1st April 2018

Gethin Jenkins was delighted with Cardiff Blues' tactical nous and defensive resolve after they booked a European Challenge Cup semi-final with a fine victory over Edinburgh.

The Blues travelled to Murrayfield on the back of seven consecutive wins but were up against a team enjoying a similar rich vein of form.

However, they dominated the first-half, with a clear tactic of turning the opposition with probing kicks and benefitted with tries from Ellis Jenkins and Blaine Scully.

A pair of penalties from Jarrod Evans following the break kept the scoreboard ticking and they overcame a late onslaught to keep their try-line intact.

The triumph sets up a Cardiff Arms Park semi-final against Pau on April 20-22 but instead of looking ahead, Jenkins was pleased to reflect on yet another spirited performance.

He said: “I watched a bit of Pau’s game but our focus right now is enjoying this result, then going to South Africa and then we can look forward to a great occasion at home when we come back.

“It’s pleasing to come away with the result, a lot of good preparation has gone into that and the game went as we wanted it to. 

“We knew the strengths that Edinburgh had with the driving maul, a good defensive breakdown and we managed to nullify that and scored some good tries on the end of it so the changing room is happy after a good win.

“We have a lot of respect for Edinburgh, they have been playing some good stuff and they have been coming back into games late as of recently to get some good victories. 

“We were aware they were going to come back hard at the end, especially when we were defending a lead but our defence has improved so much over this season that we had a bit of confidence we could keep them out. 

“If they had scored five or six minutes from the end then it might have been a different story and we would have been under the pump with 14 men but we managed to hold them out and we’re pleased with the resolve shown.”

After surging into a commanding lead in the first half hour, the message from both senior players and coaching staff was to maintain the tempo and keep playing.

But as the Scots rallied in the final quarter, Jenkins had plenty of confidence Wales’ Capital Region could close the game out.

He added: “The message is not to shut up shop and to try to keep playing and we probably did shut up a little bit and they came back hard towards the end. 

“But it’s good to have that barrier of 14-points to keep in your back pocket and focus on bringing the physicality in defence.  That has been building over the season, Richard Hodges has put a lot of work into that and the boys are buying into it.”