First-half effort upsets Hammett

Date published: December 27 2014

Cardiff Blues director of rugby Mark Hammett is demanding his players bounce back with a determined effort after they lost to the Dragons.

Second-half tries from Jarrad Hoeata and Tavis Knoyle had threatened a late comeback from the Blues but they ultimately went down 23-17.

The Blues will now recover and prepare for their New Year’s Day clash with the Dragons at Rodney Parade, with Hammett wanting a response.

“We talked ahead of the game about attitude often being the thing that wins these derby matches. Without a doubt, they collectively turned up with more intensity to their game,” he told Cardiff Blues‘ website.

“In the second half, when we got it right, we were a danger. But when you are chasing down 17 points it is difficult. We nearly got there but we didn’t.

“You can talk about playing with the right attitude all you want. But it’s a personal thing and you need to roll your sleeves up.

“It’s a down group of players in the dressing room right now, as we should be. However, we’ve got a game in six days back at their place to be better.

“We need to do ourselves a lot more proud than we did this week,” he added.

“If the first half against Scarlets was the best half we have played, well, I think that first half was our worst.

“From a fix perspective, it is very much about individuals and we will manage that this week.

“There was a bit of a bark at half-time to the players. The group of forwards then started to get from A to B with some intensity and hit rucks and mauls. As a group we lifted to where we should have been from the start.

“We don’t have a lot of time before the next game; both teams are in the same boat. We will have a good look at their game and see where they attacked us and created errors and look to put that right.”