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Rush relieved after bonus point

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Xavier Rush

Xavier Rush

Xavier Rush

Cardiff Blues captain Xavier Rush believes their late bonus point in Castres could prove crucial towards qualifying for the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.

Blues lost 27-20 to the French side at Stade Pierre Antoine, but Scott Andrews' last-minute try, converted by Ceri Sweeney, salvaged what could be a vital losing point. Rush admitted his team were blown away in the first half and they trailed 27-6 at the break. But a Maama Molitika try sparked a second-half recovery which could yet make the difference when it comes to reaching the knockout stages.

"This is a very tight pool where you have to take whatever you can get on the road and, as the competition develops, that bonus point could prove crucial," said Rush.

"We weren't surprised by the way Castres came at us. They have a very proud record at home in the French league and have not been beaten here for some time.

"We knew they would come at us but unfortunately it took us a long time to get into the game.

"They were better than us in most areas in the first half. We struggled at the scrum and what ball we did have we turned over. We made them look pretty good."

Ben Blair kicked the Blues only points in the opening 40 minutes, but they rallied after the break with two tries, both converted by Sweeney.

Rush said: "It wasn't a good performance in the first half but we just put that behind us at half-time and started from scratch in the second half.

"We went out to play the way we knew we could and I'm very proud of the way the boys stuck together, hung on and salvaged that bonus point. In difficult circumstances, it's not a bad result."

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