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Turnbull pleased to claim maximum points ahead of Toulouse showdown

14th October 2017

Josh Turnbull was pleased to get the job done with maximum points against Lyon ahead of a next week's trip to Toulouse.

Cardiff Blues faced a daunting start to their European Challenge Cup campaign with the Top14’s top two in their opening encounters.

But they kicked off the competition in style, claiming a 29-19 bonus-point victory over Lyon to sit at the top of Pool 2 after the first round.

George Earle, Tomos Williams, Macauley Cook and Rey Lee-Lo all crossed in a loose and frenetic encounter at the Arms Park.

Turnbull said: “The first half was quite fluid and we actually got what we wanted out of it but the second half was a bit stop-start and the injury to our prop (Anton Peikrishvili) slowed things down a little bit and we couldn’t get going. 

“We were playing with 14, them having two yellow cards and it’s a difficult to get rhythm, uncontested scrums as well but what is pleasing is we still managed to get the bonus-point win.

“There were a couple of good individual performances, Garyn Smith, Rey had a couple of opportunities and missed one (but finished the other) and I think we’re starting to see the Blues of the end of last season coming through.

“We want to keep the ball a little bit more open, play a little bit more and we’ve played a little bit wider in recent weeks, especially off nine and 10. We’ve also started to bring our driving game back a bit.”

Turnbull expects even more of a test against Toulouse, who sit second in the Top14 and shared a 20-20 draw with Sale Sharks in their opening fixture.

The versatile forward has plenty of experience of facing crack French opposition and he knows what to expect at Stade Ernest Wallon next Friday.

“One and two in the Top14 so it doesn’t get any easier really. They have a massive squad as well and it’s another tough challenge to go out to Toulouse and try and front up out there.

“I’ve played in Brive a couple of times, Stade Francais, a couple of times against Clermont Auvergne – you expect a hostile crowd, a big pack which will look to steam roll you and they will look to run it from everywhere. 

“Basically pack your lungs because you’re going to be in for a tough battle.”

Turnbull was speaking to the media for the first time since it was announced that he has signed a new contract with Cardiff Blues.

He is the first of several announcements set to be made in the coming days and he insists it was an easy decision to make despite the departure of head coach Danny Wilson at the end of the season.

The Wales international added: “It is a little bit disappointing because he is a good coach and I worked with him at the Scarlets as well. He is extremely detailed in what he delivers, very technical and astute.

“But we are rugby players and I’ve had many coaches, different styles and at the end of the day we are adaptable and get on with the job. 

“Being a rugby player is quite easy. A lot of us say we are living our dreams because you grow up playing rugby, it’s what you want to do when you’re a kid and to end up doing it as your profession is quite lucky. It was an easy decision for me to stay here. 

“I’m quite settled here although I’m living down West. My family is settled down there and it would be stupid of me to move when I’m enjoying playing here.”