Blues explain Warburton absence

Date published: September 20 2014

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Cardiff Blues director of rugby Mark Hammett has defended the decision to rest Wales captain Sam Warburton on Friday.

Cardiff Blues director of rugby Mark Hammett has defended the decision to rest Wales captain Sam Warburton on Friday.

The Blues were well beaten 26-9 by Ulster at home for their second loss in a week.

Warburton is the only player on a central contract with Wales, with Hammett's long-term view being that managing his playing time is best for both parties.

“To get the best out of 'Warbs' I need to manage him, not just through our campaign but leading into internationals,” Hammett said.

“That won't matter whether it's Warbs or any of the internationals. I look at what's best for the team and what's best for Warby.”

Even despite the defeat Hammett took plenty of encouragement from the Blues' performance, singling out an obvious improvement when it came to their tactical approach.

“I'm really proud of the boys actually. Let's not be mistaken, we're never going to be satisfied with losses, but the way we performed in lots of parts of the game I'm really stoked,” added Hammett.

“Defensively at times we were not systematically perfect but certainly our attitude was very, very good.

“The difference was they took their chances and we didn't take ours.

“The big difference from last week is that we actually created good chances, we didn't at any time look lost from a shape perspective.”

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