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Hodges praises young Cardiff Blues

4th February 2017

Richard Hodges has paid tribute to his young guns following their second-half fightback against a full strength Worcester Warriors.

For the second week in succession a youthful Blues outfit went up against a fully-loaded Premiership outfit desperate to gain momentum.
The Blues trailed 36-17 at half-time with tries from Cam Dolan and Harri Millard salvaging some hope after the Warriors demonstrated their vast experience and power.
With players like Francois Hougaard, Wynand Olivier, Dewald Potgieter and Ryan Mills in the Worcester starting line-up, the Warriors were always in control after establishing their lead.
But Hodges was proud of his side’s never-say-die attitude and the fact that they racked up five tries with Millard, Tomos Williams and Jarrod Evans all crossing in the second-half.
He said: “The boys should be massively proud of the fact that they have won the second-half 21-17 against a very strong Worcester side. When you look at the teams on paper they were an awful lot stronger than we were.
“I was very happy with the second-half, the group we had out there really stuck to task.
“We have been very black and white about what our strategic aims were in this competition, we don’t have the resources of the English sides to have the strength in depth to be on an equal footing.

“Our priority is top six in the PRO12 and we go into Connacht, Treviso, Edinburgh and Munster – a month which will be pretty defining in terms of our season.
“It was important to give opportunities to other boys and bringing in the likes of Gavin Dacey from Merthyr and Jake Thomas from Pontypridd, who were both going up against internationals is a tough ask but I can’t praise them enough.
“Last week I was thoroughly proud of the effort and work-rate up in Sale and to score five tries against a fully loaded Worcester side, with a lot of youngsters out there, deserves a lot of credit.”
The only aspect Hodges believes his side must learn is the ability to adapt and problem solve in the heat of battle.
He added: “The learning point for us is the fact that it took until half-time and became coach-led to problem solve Worcester’s line speed.
“Defensively, Worcester’s line speed was very quick off the mark – I have never seen so many charge downs in my life and they got a couple of tries through that and an intercept.
“In the second-half we went very direct down the middle and that just kills their line speed and their ability to blitz out wide.”