Kyriacou: Team-talk led to comeback
Cardiff Blues coach Andy Kyriacou admitted he delivered "a few choice words" to his team when they trailed 21-7 at half-time against Newcastle in the LV= Cup at Kingston Park.
After reading the riot act, Kyriacou watched his young side roar back to win 22-21 against a shell-shocked Falcons team.
"Yes, there were a few choice words said at half-time," said Kyriacou. "We really weren't happy with the way we approached that first-half at all.
"We only had about 25-30 per cent possession in that first half. We gave away nine penalties and our discipline was really poor.
"So we just highlighted those shortcomings at half-time and said 'let's just play rugby in their half and when we get down there keep the pressure on them'."
The Blues had to weather late Newcastle comeback and the Falcons missed two kickable penalties in the last five minutes but Kyriacou was delighted his young side hung on.
"We're really pleased because 16 of that 23 are through our academy system so it's great for the region," he said. " The lads will take a lot of heart and lot of experience from that win.
"I'm also really happy for some of the senior fringe players who stepped up in that second half and put in a good performance, but they have all worked hard all week and there's more of that to come in this competition, and it bodes well for the future of the club going forward.
"We fell off a lot of tackles and we were very soft in the first half, our line speed was poor and we just highlighted those points and they seemed to listen and then we played to a physicality we know we can play to.
"They did let themselves down in the first half and they remedied that by fronting up in the second half."
Newcastle, who were looking for a morale-boosting win ahead of next week's Premiership clash at Bath, were left with plenty to think about.
Back rower Richard Mayhew said: "They came out with more energy and were more physical, and they looked like that wanted it more in the second half.
"They just dominated the second half and we just didn't turn up. We were very average, very soft and very passive - everything we didn't want to be.
"We are very, very angry and disappointed with ourselves."
Mayhew admitted Ruki Tipuna being given a yellow card shortly after half-time was the key to Cardiff's comeback as the visitors ran in two tries during the scrum-half's absence.
"We didn't cope with the sin-binning very well and didn't show very good composure and we have to look at ourselves because it's just not good enough," Mayhew added.