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Turnbull desperate to head into off-season on a winning note

First Team News | 20th May 2022

Josh Turnbull is desperate to head into the off-season on a winning note, as Cardiff’s United Rugby Championship campaign draws to a close in Treviso later this evening (KO 6.00pm BST).

The club captain returned to action following a calf injury in last week’s derby win over Dragons and is named on the bench at Stadio Comunale di Monigo this evening.

The Blue and Blacks will be hunting a third consecutive URC victory to finish the season.

Reflecting on the season on a whole, the utility forward admits Cardiff’s lack of consistency has been a frustration during an adversity-struck campaign.

“I always say, whether I’m coaching or playing, that you want to finish the season with a win. Otherwise you’ll be thinking about the loss for the next two months, until you’re back in. It’s then another few months until you’re back playing and able to write a few wrongs.

“That’s a long time to stew over a game and for me I always want to finish with a bang and a performance to be proud of.

“Hopefully we can do that on Friday. We’ve got the ammunition to do it, we’ve just got to fire the bullets.

“Our biggest downfall this season is that one week we can beat Leinster or Glasgow at home, but the next we’ll get 40 or 50 points put on us by an opposition regional team.

“That’s difficult because you look at the squads and there’s not much different between who played in those games.

“Consistency has probably been one of the biggest issues for us, and it’s been a rollercoaster of a season from start to finish. We’ve had big blocks of downtime due to Covid, and that probably hasn’t helped us.

“In the first six games, we won four and got ourselves in a really strong position. But we went to South Africa and it spiralled out of our control after that.

“We couldn’t get our feet back on the ground and it became a hit-and-miss season for us, which is the best way to describe it.”

Turnbull is also ready to face a defensively-robust Benetton side but insists Cardiff will focus on their own strengths in order to break past the hosts.

The Welsh international added: “Since Paul Gustard has gone there, Benetton are a very well drilled team.

“But over the last two weeks we’ve really concentrated on what we can deliver ourselves.

“Last week it was highlighted that our work off the ball wasn’t good enough in order to give us opportunities to attack.

“In that respect, there’s opportunities for us to attack from deep as it gets disjointed at times. We want to move the ball as early as possible, spread the field and make them defend the full pitch. 

“Eventually we will find disconnects in their line and we’ll be able to pick them off.

“They are well drilled defensively, but it’s about how we can manipulate that on the field.”