Blues boss defiant after Exeter loss

Date published: October 14 2013

Cardiff Blues director of rugby Phil Davies batted away criticism put towards him after his team's 44-29 loss to Exeter Chiefs.

Cardiff Blues director of rugby Phil Davies batted away criticism put towards him after his team's 44-29 loss to Exeter Chiefs.

An atrocious first-half performance had the Blues trailing 41-3 at the start of the second half, before the Welsh side rallied to score four tries and collect a try bonus-point.

Two of those scores came when Exeter were down to 13 men, as a Blues team featuring Leigh Halfpenny, Alex Cuthbert, Gethin Jenkins and Sam Warburton managed to salvage some pride.

But despite their unanswered tally of 26 points in the second half, the Blues' shambolic efforts in the opening 40 minutes were not forgotten as Davies addressed the media afterwards.

“At the end of the day, everything always comes back to me. I'm not out on the field, we are all in this together,” said Davies.

“Exeter are far from a mid-table team. Do your research. They are an outstanding team and playing here they are a tough nut to crack.

“We have just got to keep on doing what we've got to do. Having rash decisions and pointing fingers is no good.

“We've got to stick together and get on with it and we will do. It's not an individual thing, its a team thing.

“I still believe in myself. That's never been an issue.

“[Criticism] is part and parcel of the job. It would be great if you could have days in the sun every day and it's easy.

“But I've said this before, the games are won on the grass. Our team is building and growing.

“We have still got a young group and while these experiences aren't nice, hopefully they will build character and we will get better and better.”

Asked what lead to the Blues' turnaround in fortunes after half-time, Davies revealed that much of the visitors' pre-game tactics had been forgotten about in the first half.

“We talked at half-time. We didn't do anything that we said we would do, particularly for our kicking game and, that gave them too many opportunities to come back at us,” added Davies.

“I think we had to make 100 tackles and we missed 20 and that is not good enough at this level.

“We have to give Exeter credit for the way that they played but in the second half we were a bit more like it.

“They are a good attacking side but we came back second half to score those four tries.

“The first half was gone and we had to something about it – which we did and got some points back on the board.

“We had far more control on the game in the second half, far more field position. To get four tries was pleasing to get that point in the end to give us some momentum going in to next week.

“We'll fix up what we need to fix and we will go in to Toulon with a bit of momentum.”