Jenkins eyes knockout rugby

Date published: January 11 2017

Cardiff Blues flanker Ellis Jenkins remains confident of his side’s chances of qualifying for this season’s Challenge Cup knockout stages.

With only two rounds to play, Danny Wilson’s charges currently sit second in Pool 4, level on points with leaders Bath thanks to three wins.

Jenkins insists his side will have a decent chance of qualifying for the last-eight, if they can beat Pau and Bristol over the next fortnight.

“If we win both games I think we will qualify for the quarter finals, whether that is as winners or best runner-up. Obviously that will also depend on how the other groups go as well,” he told Cardiff Blues’ website.

“If we do qualify, we want to put ourselves in the best position for a home draw by topping the group.

“All we can do is focus on ourselves. What happens with Bath, and the other groups, is out of our hands so we’ll be going to Pau to win the game and re-evaluate where we are after that game.”

Cardiff Blues became the first Welsh side to lift a European trophy when they defeated Toulon in the 2010 Challenge Cup final in Marseille. And back-row Jenkins believes his side can draw inspiration from the victory, and is excited at the prospect of playing knockout rugby.

“If you can get yourself into knockout rugby, it’s exciting. You look at the biggest occasion at Cardiff Blues over the past few years, and it’s when they beat Toulon in the final. If you can reach those stages of the competition, it’s where you create those types of memories,” he added.

“Too often, since when I’ve started with Cardiff Blues, our season has finished after the first week of May, and haven’t gone past the regular season. Being in a final would be a different scenario for us, and certainly something we would relish.”

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