Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Burnell hails Blues pack

Cardiff Blues forwards coach Justin Burnell praised a strong second-half effort from his pack after a 25-8 win over Edinburgh maintained their unbeaten start to the Heineken Cup and put them top of Pool Two.

Fly-half Dan Parks kicked two drop-goals, four penalties and converted Alex Cuthbert's late try as Cardiff went three points clear at the halfway point of the pool stage.

"If you look at the back row they picked you could see they came to try and physically outmuscle us, which meant it took us time to wear them down," said Burnell. "But in the second half Bradley Davies and Taufa'ao Filise were exceptional going forward, and Sam Warburton and Gethin Jenkins were phenomenal from a defensive and contact area point of view."

Victory for the Blues in the return fixture at Murrayfield in a week's time would give the Welsh side one foot in the last eight and, having already secured a bonus-point win in Edinburgh when the sides met in the RaboDirect PRO12 earlier this season, Burnell says his side will travel with no fear.

He added: "If you look at the places we have had to go this season, like Racing Metro away, Connacht away, we have shown we are comfortable going away from home.

"We have already been to Murrayfield once this season and had a bonus-point win, and it doesn't faze us going on the road."

Edinburgh's points came from a Greig Laidlaw penalty and a fine second-half try from wing Lee Jones, created by a sharp pass out of the tackle from Tim Visser, but it was not enough to prevent their own unbeaten record in Europe coming to an end.

Coach Michael Bradley said: "It was disappointing. We started brightly enough and we kept the pressure on Cardiff, but we did not take our chances or convert our territory into scores.

"At half-time Cardiff were 6-3 up without doing a lot, but they were doing more things right than us, and in the second half they forced penalties which allowed them to pull away.

"We were always chasing from there, which is not what you want to be doing against Cardiff."


From Belfast Telegraph