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Turnbull calls on Cardiff to comeback fighting in final block

First Team News | 29th January 2023

Josh Turnbull believes now is the time for Cardiff to reflect and reset ahead of the final months of the season. 

The Blue and Blacks brought a long and relentless run of 10 consecutive fixtures to a close with a 38-14 defeat to unbeaten Leinster.

Cardiff were disappointed with their performance, which was littered with errors, but Turnbull believes there is still plenty to play for with a European knockout fixture in April and battle for the BKT United Rugby Championship Welsh Shield, which looks set to go down to the wire. 

Turnbull said: “It’s a good time for us to reflect on what we’ve done and gives us an opportunity to look back and see what we really need to put some time and effort into moving forward. As a group all we want to do is keep working hard week to week to make sure we get better.

“Ultimately this time of year, during the Six Nations is when you can get some good results to springboard yourself up the table. 

“This group is going to be together now for eight weeks while the Six Nations is going on and there’s a couple of big games. We need to pick up some results if we want to put ourselves in contention. 

“We got what we wanted out if Europe. We’re qualified for the last 26, which is a bonus and we’ve put ourselves in a good position with a home game. 

“In the league we haven’t been playing as well as we want. The derbies- we won one and lost two but it took until the second-half before we actually kicked into gear. 

“That’s something we need to look at because it’s the same again tonight. We weren’t at the races, they scored some tries pretty easily and again it come down to their fundamentals being on point every time they get inside that 22.”

Cardiff’s slow start at the RDS proved costly as the hosts raced into a 17-0 lead by half-time. They added two more before Cardiff battled back but by that stage it was an insurmountable task.

And Turnbull has pointed to Cardiff’s lack of execution, which was the opposite of Leinster, who displayed a ruthless, clinical edge. 

He added: “It was just ur fundamentals really. A lot of first phase errors and it was something like 17 or 18 turnovers within the first two phases. You’re not going to be able to mount any pressure when you are giving that amount of possession away, that easily. 

“On the discipline side of things we were sub-10. It was only eight or so penalties but it’s where were giving them away. It just gives them easy entries into the 22 and when they have lightning quick ball like they get, its always going to be tough. 

“They had quite a few players making their debuts today and none of them looked out of place. The skill level and execution was on point and at the moment they are the flag bearers in the league. 

“It’s hard and there’s a whole manner of things but as a group we need to make sure we regroup and put a lot of work in to put ourselves in a better place.”