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Try hero Lane delighted with Connacht win

28th January 2019

Owen Lane was delighted to close the gap on the top three as Cardiff Blues edged to a slender 8-7 victory over play-off rivals Connacht in the Guinness PRO14.

In horrific conditions at Cardiff Arms Park, the Blues ground to the crucial win following a spectacular effort from Lane.

While Wales’ Capital Region remain fifth in Conference A, they closed the gap on Connacht to just a point and two points on the Ospreys.

Lane said: “It's well known how big that was in the context of our season. They are above us in the table and we were building through the week with that message.

“It was an important game for us to try to build momentum and to try to get a top three place. This was a must-win game in the context of that.

“A big importance was put on the game and while it wasn’t the prettiest of games, I’m glad we got the result, which was the most important thing

“The boys put a really good defensive shift in. All of the forwards put a massive shift in and that can’t go understated because they probably won us that game. 

“It was tough, and conditions didn’t help, especially in the second-half when you’re struggling to get out of your own half and you have to rely on your defence. I thought the boys at the contact area were outstanding and they really took the pressure off us, winning penalties to get out of the half.”

For the second week in a row, Lane finished a fine effort in the right-hand corner to send the Arms Park faithful into raptures.

On this occasion it was Lloyd Williams who broke off the back of a scrum and raced down the blind side, delaying his pass to perfection to give Lane the smallest of chances.

That was all that was needed as the 21-year-old burst past two defenders and made a spectacular dive for the corner, in which he managed to get the ball down before he was bundled into touch.

It proved to be the moment of the match and Cardiff Blues head coach later labelled it a world-class finish when talking to the media.

Lane said: “It’s nice of him to say that but I wasn’t really thinking about it. I was just trying to get the ball in the corner. You see a lot of players try to do that and you hopefully find yourself in the position where you get to try it and it came off so I’m happy.

“It was a pre-call to maybe have a look at the short side and the wing was defending behind the scrum so it gave us a bit of time. 

“I wasn’t sure if Lloydy was going to do it. He was umming and ahing and it looked like I was trying to change the picture, but I was guessing if he was going to do it and when he did I was trying to catch up! He left the ball there and luckily, I managed to stay in field and dive for it.”

The try led for renewed calls for Lane to be added to Wales’ Six Nations squad after he missed out on initial selection following a hamstring injury.

But the former Wales U20s star knows he has plenty of time on his side and his sole focus remains on Cardiff Blues and ensuring they reach the top three to qualify for the Heineken Champions Cup.

He added: “I know you guys (media) ask the question a lot but for me I’m just trying to play as well as I can. 

“I want to play for Wales, it would be stupid to say I don’t and the only way I can do that is by performing here. If we can keep momentum and playing like we are then I will put my hand up.

“The Arms Park is a great venue and it’s really encouraging to see people come out in such poor conditions. 

“It gives us a lift when you can hear the crowd and we’re starting to build that momentum, which is a good time to do that because this is such a big period for us in the context of our season and what we want to achieve. Hopefully we can keep it going and hopefully the crowd can still come out and do their thing.”