Planet Rugby

Davies hails young Blues

01st December 2013 09:22

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Cardiff Blues boss Phil Davies

Proud: Phil Davies

Cardiff Blues director of rugby Phil Davies was proud of his young side's performance after they claimed a 26-26 draw away to Treviso on Saturday.

The Blues, missing a mass of international stars who are with Wales and several others to injury, came close to a triumph at the Stadio Monigo.

They in fact led 20-9 at the break before an international-filled Treviso side fought back, with the points eventually shared in Northern Italy.

"We are frustrated not to have won the game. But when you look at both sides, with 16 internationals in the Treviso squad and all our young players, the average age of our team was 22, in the end it is two points well claimed," he told Cardiff Blues' website.

"The frustrating thing is the position we put ourselves in to win the game. It is a big, big learning curve for the young fellas.

"The first half was pretty much flawless. We had 60% possession and nearly 50% territory.

"That is what we had to be in the second half, be flawless again. But what we did show was plenty of character, we muscled up and we were pleased because we deserved that draw, if not more.

"We kept hold of the ball in the first half, went through a lot of phases and took some really good opportunities.

"We ran hard and we played in the right areas of the field. When we didn't have the ball we defended resolutely which was great. I was pleased with and without the ball."

Academy wing Owen Jenkins and back-row Ellis Jenkins were also singled out for praise.

"We had young Owen Jenkins on the wing, an 18-year-old on his debut. For him to play like he did was fantastic," added Davies.

"He is another young player coming up who stepped up so we are very pleased by him.

"Ellis (Jenkins) was given his first start and he played well too. He was the Wales Under-20 captain last year and against (Alessandro) Zanni the back row I think he did exceptionally well.

"I always felt they (Treviso) would come strong in the second half with all the experience they had out there," added Davies.

"They made a few changes in the back line too and we knew that would be tough. But what we did do was stick in there, we were resolute and in the middle of the half and towards the end of the game we had a lot of momentum and could have snuck it.

"We had a few situations where I felt we could have had a penalty. But we didn't get it and 26-26 is pleasing after the way we played and when you consider the inexperience we had. We are very proud of what the players have done."

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