Harri Millard hailed the “unreal” effort of Cardiff Blues A’s young contingent during Wednesday’s win over Dragons A.
The academy product, who has 31 senior appearances under his belt,
“I thought a few of the academy boys, especially the 17 or 18 year olds, really stepped up,” said Millard.
“Our forwards fronted up in the tackle area against a big Dragons pack and boys like Alex Mann or Gwilym Bradley I thought could’ve been man of the match today.
“They were both unreal over the ball and in their front-up tackles and for them to bring that physicality is gold for us backs.
“The younger boys don’t train often with the senior side, as they train as an academy group but they managed to put in those good performances. They’ve been in all week, learnt their stuff and turned up tonight and put that into action.
“Like I said, having the forwards knowing their roles and keeping to that is gold for us backs.
“Like most of the backs out there, I probably would’ve liked a bit more ball in hand but you have to accept that in some games you don’t get that, but I’m happy to come away with the win.
“I thought we were clinical in attack. We didn’t have much ball in their 22, but when we did we came way with points, scoring two tries and a penalty.
“We still need to work on our territory game because we spent a lot of the first half defending in our own half.
“But we were up against a strong wind and that played a part, and in the second half we controlled it a little bit more and played in the right areas.”
Millard, who suffered a shoulder injury against Leicester Tigers last season, made his return during August’s Guinness PRO14 encounter against Scarlets.
However, the Ystrad Mynach clash was his first taste of competitive action in the 2020/21 season, and now he’s eager for more game time with key Guinness PRO14 fixtures on the horizon.
“In the game against Scarlets I had 50 minutes and this was the first game I’ve had in 11 months apart from that.
“It’s good to get a run out and especially to get the full 80, but I’ll probably be aching tomorrow! But now I’m looking forward to get some more game time under my belt.
“Nobody wants to just be a professional trainer, everyone wants to play.
“Like I said, I’ll be aching tomorrow after making a few tackles because you do some in training during the week, but in a game it’s a different story when the opposition are running flat out at you.”