Bath certainly had their chances but I don't believe they have any cause for complaint. At this level the game is about nothing else but taking what chances come your way and they had so much good second- phase ball that they will long be ruing their inability to make any decent use of it.
We had one good second- phase move and it virtually won us the match. It came midway through the second half, which was the ideal time to strike in a game that seemed to sway one or another at a very exciting pace. We'd had a lineout after Mike Catt had tried to trap a long kick from Justin Thomas but succeeded only in poking it over the line. From the line-out Hemi Taylor made a surging break and from the ruck we went on the blind side. Rob Howley gave me the ball and Nigel Walker was coming up at a great angle and I held the pass up to what I hoped was exactly the right moment. He came on to it like a bullet and just left the two defenders between him and the line for dead.
The game certainly wasn't over at that stage, because Bath kept coming back at us and were in our half when the final whistle went. But it was a great try and great tries deserve to win matches.
Bath had a terrific start and although we were expecting it we still had to fight very hard to hold them. We knew that they had played very tamely for the first 20 minutes against Pontypridd in the previous round, but they certainly weren't intending to make the same mistake twice.
I was very impressed with the way their forwards flew around the field and set up some beautiful second-phase situations, but I was very disappointed that with that amount of second-phase, the Bath backs failed to capitalise. I wish I could have had that amount of the ball.
Having said that, we defended very, very well and I thought we had a few heroes. Jamie Ringer played well to win the man of the match award, and considering we lost Mark Bennett from our back row early on we reorganised exceptionally well, thanks to Owain Williams, who came on to play particularly well considering that he has not been able to train with us recently.
I was pleased with the way I controlled the game and with my kicking for goal in the first half. But it is a great advantage for us to have someone like Lee Jarvis on the bench. When Justin Thomas went off with a bad facial injury in the second half Lee came on and I was happy to hand the goal-kicking duties to him. I'd been hit by a pile-driving tackle from Adedayo Adebayo but that wasn't the reason I deferred to Lee when we were awarded those final two penalties. He's got a kick like a mule.
It has been a great couple of days, what with being called up to the Welsh squad. But Wales wasn't on my mind today, just Cardiff. Last night I joined the Welsh Sevens squad and today we fly out to play in the Dubai World Sevens. So I'll have the Wales shirt on, I hope, this week, but the memories of wearing Cardiff's blue and black on such a great day will stay with me for a long time to come.Reuse content