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Ulster clash the perfect opportunity for Cardiff Blues A to bounce back - Jones

17th September 2018

Lewis Jones insists Cardiff Blues A have the perfect opportunity to bounce back from Saturday's defeat to Leinster A, as they gear up for the first Celtic Cup clash at Cardiff Arms Park.

Richie Rees’ side are set to welcome Ulster A to the Welsh capital on Saturday (KO 2.30pm), and look to get back to winning ways against the Belfast-based outfit.

Scrum half Jones believes his side must be harsh on themselves if they are to learn the lessons from the defeat in Dublin, but says the group are excited at the opportunity to move on immediately.

“The beauty of this competition is that we can go again next week, at home at the Arms Park,” said Jones.

“We’ll take the lessons we’ve learnt into the training week, have a good week in camp, stay positive, stay together and move forward.

“We’ve had two away games on the bounce, but it will be nice to come back home to our own preparation, our home preparation, and hopefully we can bounce back.

“The senior boys are here to drive things, but the youngsters bring their energy, their enthusiasm and they can bring that into both training and games.

“We have to be harsh on ourselves if we want to be competing to get into that first team. We’ve got a lot to do next week.”

Following a bonus point victory against Dragons A a week earlier, tries from Sion Bennett and Tom Williams were not enough to make it two from two at Energia Park, as Leinster A eventually ran away with a 57-10 victory.

Jones is confident his side has the firepower to cause damage, but insists they must be on the money for the rest of the campaign.

The scrum half said: “We spoke on the pitch as players after the game, and know that the result wasn’t acceptable.

“They were a very strong Leinster side, and a bit of an unit, and we have a lot to learn.

“We have to be more mature on the pitch. We gave away soft penalties, which led to kicks to touch, and their driving maul was a force against us.

“I’ve personally been on the back-end of a few results like that, and especially in Leinster, if you’re off your game only five per cent, they’ll make you pay for it.

“I think there were a lot of positives about the scrums, we held our own in that area. 

“We scored two tries, which were consolation in the end, but if we can keep hold of the ball and go through the phases, we do have players that can do some damage - the likes of Tom Williams, Dan Fish, Tom James and youngsters like Ioan Davies and Ben Thomas. 

“We can be dangerous, when we retain possession, but it showed out there what can happen to the scoreboard when we don’t.”

The Celtic Cup will make its Cardiff Arms Park debut on Saturday, September 22, as Cardiff Blues A host Ulster A (KO 2.30pm). Tickets are on sale on the Cardiff Blues website NOW, with entry included in the Season Membership packages.