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Turnbull calls for competitive edge against Connacht

21st September 2017

Josh Turnbull insists his side are making good progress with their performances, despite last week's one-point loss to Glasgow Warriors.

The utility forward has started all three games of the campaign so far, having returned from a back injury, which kept him out for over nine months.

Welsh international Turnbull is backing his team to put another strong performance during their clash against Connacht on Saturday, but is expecting typically tough conditions at the Sportsground.

“The boys are pretty positive to be honest. We’ve progressively got better over the past three games,” said Turnbull.

“Obviously the Leinster game got away from us in the last 13 minutes and then last week I thought we had a better performance and thought we probably should have won that.

“We put ourselves in the right position throughout the game, put pressure on them, scored a good try and that’s something we’ve been building on over the past couple of weeks.

“This week is about preparing ourselves for another tough game out in Connacht and hopefully we can come away with the victory.

“The way they play the game make them a threat from all over the park. It probably tees us up pretty well to play Connacht, who play the ball from anywhere, from kick offs they run from their own 22, they play wide. 

“But if we’re accurate and bring our defensive game, which has been getting better with the introduction of Shaun here, and if we bring that competitive edge in the contact area then I can’t see why we can’t come out of there with a victory.

“Howling winds, pouring down with rain, you know, it’s not a nice place to play, and it’s probably going to be no different on Friday. We got to put the conditions behind us - we’ve prepared for them, we just got to be mindful of them and prepare ourselves the best we can to go out there and play.”

Injuries to the likes of Ellis Jenkins and Sam Warburton has seen a reshuffle along the Cardiff Blues back row, with Josh Navidi slotting in at openside and Turnbull wearing the number eight shirt during the visit to Leinster in round two.

Turnbull, who made his return to competitive rugby during the pre-season win over London Scottish, is happy to be flexible with his position in the team and feels his personal game is making positive strides, as he continues his long rehabilitation process.

Turnbull said: “Me and Navs have swapping on the flank. When it’s our ball he goes to the number eight position and I’m at flanker and vice versa.

“It’s all about understanding roles and responsibilities. Sometimes it’s a case of taking the numbers off the back, get out there and realise the players we’ve got available to us and also being able to play the game the way Cardiff Blues want to play, which is open and expansive rugby.

“I feel I’m starting to find some form and contributing. My numbers have been high in games and I’m progressively getting better and better.

“For me it was about getting back on the field  and playing rugby to be honest. After missing a long period of rugby, like nine months, you just want to get out there and I spoke to Danny who told me to be patient, things aren’t going to come straight away.

“But I feel over the past few games, even from pre-season, I’ve just got progressively better and better.”

Cardiff Blues return to Cardiff Arms Park on Friday, October 6, when they face the Dragons in the first Guinness PRO14 Welsh derby of the season.

Derby Day is Coming! Get your tickets for Cardiff Blues v Dragons here or by calling 029 20 302030.