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Mulvihill praises team effort as Cardiff Blues give Saracens a run for their money

15th December 2018

John Mulvihill has lauded his side following a spirited performance against two-times European champions, Saracens, on Saturday.

Tries from Rey Lee-Lo and Dan Fish saw Wales’ Capital Region head into the interval with a slender lead, but eight points from the boot of Owen Farrell and a Jamie George try saw the Pool 3 leaders seal the victory.

Mulvihill was proud of the effort on show from the hosts and believes his side showed an improvement from last week’s defeat at Allianz Park.

“I was really proud of the way we stuck in the game throughout the whole 80-minutes,” said the head coach.

“One of our learnings from last week was that we were good for the first 40 minutes, but we didn’t do enough to control the second half.

“Today we were a lot better, and they only scored their second try with five minutes remaining. 

“It was two-tries each, and they’re a side that only concede an average of one try per game in the English Premiership.

“I was really disappointed we didn’t get the result, but there were some real key areas that we made errors and let ourselves down, or didn’t get awarded, during the second half.

“It was a good 80-minute performance and that’s something we’ll need to do during our next block of games, especially against the Dragons on Friday.

“We’re in a competition where the 20 best teams in Europe are playing, each with a budget of their own, and out of the 20, we rank 20th.

“That is a massive gulf, so all I ask from our group is that they leave it on the field each day.

“They did that in today’s performance, but we can get to a stage where there is only so much juice you can get out of that lemon.”

Next up for Mulvihill’s team is a Friday night encounter against Dragons at the Welsh capital, which kicks-off a trio of festive derbies.

The Australian emphasised the importance of taking the intensity and effort into the derby clash, as he expects another competitive outing against the Newport-based region.

Mulvihill said: “We red-line tonight, recover well and then make sure we get our performance right from day one, leading into Dragons.

“We got some confidence and momentum there, because we’re a good team when we play together as a 15.

“If we take that intensity off this level of rugby, into the PRO14, then we should every week if we play like that.

“They’ve got an international back-row that will really fight at the breakdown against us, and they scored 24-points on Clermont away today.

“They will be big defensive rush team and with all the hype next week and it’s important that we get it right.”