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Skipper Groves pride at Pirates victory

22nd December 2015

Captain Jevon Groves has praised the manner of the victory for Cardiff Blues Premiership Select (CBPS) away at Cornish Pirates - and believes the team has evolved throughout the British & Irish Cup campaign.

CBPS produced a battling performance to claim a tense 18-15 win in Penzance as Aled Summerhill and Cam Dolan crossed the whitewash.

The result leaves CBPS in third place in Pool 4 and knowing victories over London Welsh and Nottingham in the final two fixtures could yet mean knockout rugby.

Groves said: “It was testing conditions down there in Cornwall and we responded well to that.

“I said to the players after the first game at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park, it’s always difficult to beat teams back to back and to use that as motivation to go down to Cornwall and win.

“We wanted to keep our hopes alive and we needed that result. We have been playing well as a group and the win had just alluded us.

“I was proud of them all,” he added. “We had a lot of experience back in the team and in this competition you need to get that balance right, between youth and experience. We did that and the result proved it.

“I feel we have evolved as a team during this competition. The more we train and play the more cohesive we become.

“We could have won other games, but this was a real team performance. We had to show we could attack well, defend well and play the conditions. We went out as a cohesive unit and the pack was complimented by good decision making by the half backs.”

CBPS now face London Welsh at home before an away trip to Nottingham in January - and Groves hopes the last two games will bring positives for team.

“The youngsters are motivated to play in this cup; they haven’t been down to places like the Mennaye Field, played those conditions and it’s a new experience. They are not afraid to make mistakes in our group, they are backed to play.

“I was equally pleased by some of the senior players who went down on a five-hour bus trip and really stood up well. As a mix it worked.

“We now take each game as it comes – it’s a cliché but all we can do,” he added.

“London Welsh, they are a quality outfit who we owe a game now, and Nottingham are a talented side too.

“We enjoyed the win in Cornwall, it’s something to build on and we have got to be looking forward to that challenge, especially the home fixture.”

Groves also complimented the way the British & Irish Cup had been developed this season with the introduction of Premiership Select sides for the first time.

“The competition is an incentive and a stepping stone from the Premiership,” he said.

“When the B&I Cup first originated a lot of the English teams put in development teams. Now they are putting really strong teams out as they know how important the competition is for their season.

“Look at the London Welsh game, they came back to beat us and then went up to beat Leeds away; It kick-started their season.

“You can see the importance and Welsh Premiership Select sides have to be strong too otherwise it becomes a miss-match and detrimental to some of the young players.

“It’s been really for us all. We’ve had strong games and it will promote some of the better players in the Premiership as well as fringe players in the region. It’s a win, win for everyone.”