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Let's finish with a bang - Turnbull

16th January 2018

Josh Turnbull is determined to complete the European Challenge Cup group stages with a bang as Cardiff Blues take on Lyon on Saturday.

The Blues secured their place in the quarter-finals with a second memorable victory over French giants Toulouse last weekend.

Turnbull, who played all 80 minutes, was blown away by the magnitude of the achievement and he is now eyeing a second French double.

He said: “It’s pretty amazing to get an achievement like that, against a team like Toulouse, with the amount of times they have won European rugby and the squad they have. They showed us respect and came here with a full-strength team. 

“At one point it felt like an onslaught as they kept coming and coming but to be fair to the boys we really dug in deep and Garyn’s (Smith) interception five metres out was a big turning point for us and we got back down the other end of the field.

“It (character and determination) was massive but they played a little bit of negative rugby in the end. They were just playing between the posts or the touchline, they didn’t pay with any width and that made it a little bit easier for us to contain. 

“When you watch them at their best they play with a lot of chaos and offloads, keeping the ball alive and you saw parts of that in the first-half.

“The boys put a massive shift in and we’ll now concentrate on Lyon when we come back in. We want to finish this group with a bang and hopefully with a home quarter-final, that would be massive for the region.”

Turnbull was one of three Cardiff Blues players to have a try ruled out in the encounter as referee Ian Tempest ruled they were in an offside position as they picked the ball up at the breakdown. 

The decision left Turnbull bemused and the Arms Park crowd on the edge of their seats. 

He continued: “The tackle was made and mine was similar to Nick’s (Williams), no ruck was formed because nobody was coming in to compete for the ball to form the ruck but speaking the ref he said both your feet have to be behind the ball or the hindmost foot.

“It’s one for us to work out because on another day I think the ref would have let it go. The amount of disallowed tries, one for them, a few for us, the game could have been a completely different story.”

With a quarter-final now secured, Turnbull is hoping the Cardiff Blues crowd turn out in force whether home or away.

They still have a slim chance of earning an Arms Park showdown but a knockout on the road is more likely.
Turnbull added: “They have been great this year, I wasn’t out there but the boys have said it was great to see so many fans out in Toulouse, they made themselves heard, that’s all we want and they were brilliant again on Sunday.

“We’re in a pretty good position in the league, we’re in a commanding position in Europe and that next quarter-final will be massive for us whoever we play, wherever we play so the next step will be trying to go one better.”