Ellis Jenkins was left frustrated that Cardiff Blues failed to cap their victory over Toyota Cheetahs with a bonus-point but was delighted with their defensive stand.
The Blues battled back from a 10-point deficit at the Arms Park thanks to first-half tries from Rey Lee-Lo and Jenkins but were unable to put the game out of reach.
Nick Williams added a third try after the break but the South African outfit set-up a nervy finale after Uzair Cassiem powered over.
They pressed for a winning score in the closing stages and twice kicked penalties to the corner with their gargantuan pack going for the kill but Cardiff Blues showed remarkable determination and discipline as they clung on for a deserved Guinness PRO14 win.
Jenkins said: “We made it a bit tough for ourselves but those were some of the worst conditions I’ve played in. The Cheetahs have had some really good results this year so we’re just happy to get away with the win.
“It was a little bit annoying because we played with the wind in the first half and it wasn’t really much but then all of a sudden it really turned on and the rain came which made it really hard for us to get out of our own half.
“Jarrod bossed the game in really tough conditions and Lloyd and then Tomos when he came on.
“In years gone by it’s a game we would have lost at the end but it shows the resilience of the group. It was not the position we wanted to be in but it’s good that we ultimately performed and put enough pressure on the opposition to hold out.
“It was a really good defensive effort from us but maybe a bit of frustration that we maybe left a few tries out there that could prove costly.”
The victory kicked off a vital run of four PRO14 encounters on a positive note and the Blues welcome Munster to the Arms Park next Saturday before a trip to Zebre and a home clash against Benetton Treviso.
They have targeted four wins to ensure they stay in the driving seat for European Champions Cup qualification but Jenkins knows it is a big ask.
He added: “We spoke about this period in training this week – it defines our season really. We can end these games with a lot to play for or we can end them and our season is pretty much done.
“We said tonight’s game would show how much we wanted it and in defence we definitely did that but the frustration is we had the opportunity to put that game to bed, maybe get the bonus-point and maybe deny them one as well.”
He continued: “We’re expecting a typical Munster game really, a big, physical forward pack, a powerful game coming around the corner, working hard for each other and then they have some x-factor in their backs.
“I’m not sure who they will have back from Ireland but it’s a case of focussing on ourselves. We’re creating some really good stuff but it’s been a recurring theme this season that we’re not converting them as much as we should. There’s lots of frustrations but a win’s a win.”
Cardiff Blues face Munster on Saturday, February 17 (5.30pm) and we need YOUR support. Tickets for the Cardiff Arms Park clash are available now and can be purchased by clicking here or calling 029 20 302030.