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Wilson praises character after derby day win

27th December 2015

Head Coach Danny Wilson praised the character within the Cardiff Blues squad as they produced a late fight-back to stun Newport Gwent Dragons 21-20 in the Guinness PRO12 at Rodney Parade.

Wilson’s men looked set for defeat trailing 17-6 in the final 15minutes of a full blooded derby before the late drama.

A penalty try – after a powerful rolling maul – and score from wing ace Tom James set it up for Rhys Patchell to kick a match winning penalty in the final minute.

“We’d openly admit, and we said it in the changing rooms afterwards, that it wasn’t our best performance,” admitted Wilson.

“We perhaps fed the Dragons and they played well and held good field position to put us under immense pressure.

“But we showed character defensively, held them out and got some turnovers, and then we changed our approach, played from deeper and got some reward.

“We only held field position a couple of times in their 22 in the second half, but once was for the driving lineout score and the second was for the penalty.

“Credit to the players, they showed real character at a hostile and tough venue to win.

“The penalty try got us back into the game. From a long way out and to do that, when we hadn’t got much from our drive all game, was excellent.

“It gave is the lift we needed to get back into the game. Lots of sides come here and maybe fall away last quarter, but our group stood up and were counted.”

Wilson also praised Patchell who slotted a penalty from almost the same place where he missed a conversion to tie the game minutes earlier.

“In many ways that kick resembled some of the character we showed in general,” he said.

“To come back from being under a lot of pressure to get a win, hopefully that is something we can build on.

“Rhys showed his character to step up and do that after missing one from the same place minutes earlier. He puts in hours of practice and that paid off there.”