Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Baber pleased with win

Cardiff Blues coach Gareth Baber was pleased with his side's focus as they moved a giant step closer to Heineken Cup quarter-final qualification.

The Welsh side marked their 100th Heineken Cup match with a tight 22-15 victory at London Irish, with Sam Warburton's second half try complementing a fine Leigh Halfpenny kicking display.

Having seen fellow Pool Two pace-setters Edinburgh win away to Racing Metro on Friday, the Welsh side responded in the perfect manner at the Madejski Stadium and backs coach Baber was proud of his side's attitude. "The (Edinburgh) game did focus the mind somewhat," he said after the match.

"You can't avoid it but our whole focus this week has been making sure we control what we are doing irrespective what is happening outside of our environment.

"That extended to (Friday night) and what happened in Paris so we're pleased that we kept that focus. We certainly kept it through the game and came away with the victory."

Cardiff face Racing Metro in the final Pool Two match next weekend as they look to reach the knock-out stages for the first time since the 2008-09 season.

The Blues are well placed after the win, which saw them complete the double against the Exiles after winning the reverse fixture in November.

"It's never easy against them," Baber said of Irish. "When we played them at home even though they were down to 14 men they pressurised us and created a game that tested us defensively.

"There were stages in the game when they did exactly the same, but I thought we controlled the field when we needed to.

"There was a bit of brilliance in the second half from Casey Laulala, which was finished off by Sam Warburton and you saw a good team performance in managing the game and getting the victory, not least down to Leigh Halfpenny and his kicking."


From Belfast Telegraph