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Mulvihill points to the positives following pre-season defeat

18th August 2018

John Mulvihill saluted the effort of his side and focused on the positives following difficult afternoon at Sandy Park, insisting all that matters is the Guinness PRO14 opener against Leinster.

The Blues made a bright start and claimed the first try thanks to Steve Shingler but Exeter Chiefs powered to a 38-10 victory.

Where the Premiership finalists converted every opportunity they had, Wales’ Capital Region left a handful of chances on the pitch and they were made to pay.

Mulvihill admits that was frustration but he was delighted with his squad’s effort and believes there are plenty of positives to build upon ahead of the Cardiff Arms Park showdown with Leinster.

He said: “Today was a difficult one because we were in control of that game early on. But little things like off the kick-off we didn’t secure possession and put us under pressure.

“In the first half we only had 29 per cent possession and of that we turned the ball over 42 per cent of the time so we didn’t build anything.

“Our defensive display in the first half was fantastic, they scored a maul try and a penalty try with 71 per cent possession. But we put ourselves under pressure and probably left four tries out there. 

“At 17-10 we drop the kick-off. If we go the other end and score it’s 17-all and a completely different game.

“These two games (Leicester Tigers and Exeter Chiefs) are not about results but processes and we have identified some areas we need to work on and some players have put their hands up for selection.

“You can’t fault the boys’ effort. You can change some decisions and execution but you cannot change effort and I am delighted I have this group of players. 

“They will get better and one thing about them is they really work hard for each other, enjoy each other’s company and you will see that in games.”

The Blues take on the reigning Guinness PRO14 and European Champions Cup champions on Friday, August 31, with tickets available now.

Mulvihill admits it is a mouth-watering fixture to begin the season and is hoping there is a bumper crowd at the Arms Park.

“It’s a great game to start with. They are such a strong club and it will be a huge challenge but with that is a huge opportunity if we get it right. 

“It’s an exciting build up and will be a fantastic evening so I hope everyone will get down there to enjoy it.”