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Cook concentrates on positive despite Celtic Cup defeat

Blues News | 14th September 2019

Macauley Cook insists it’s important to take the positives from Cardiff Blues A’s Celtic Cup defeat to Ospreys Development on Friday.

It was a bright start for Wales’ Capital Region at the Brewery Field, with Teddy Williams opening the scoring after a period of sustained pressure.

However, the hosts bounced back to score 29 unanswered points to claim their first win of the campaign, with wing Ben Cambriani securing a brace.

Cook, who captained the young Blues side at Bridgend, believes they can be encouraged by their physicality in the encounter but admits a lack of discipline allowed the home side to gain momentum.

The former Wales under-20 skipper said: “I thought we matched them physically up front, but probably struggled to build momentum because of unforced errors.

“We didn’t manage to put a string of phases together, which meant we weren’t able to get on the front foot often enough.

“However, I thought there were real positives to take from the game, with some strong ball carries and our work at the set-piece being effective.

“When we did have an opportunity to build the phases, we looked dangerous, and that opening quarter was dominant, which shows the talent is there.

“We probably could’ve scored a few more points in that first 20 minutes, which might’ve changed the course of the game, but our discipline probably let them back into the game and they kept building momentum from that.”

The young Cardiff Blues side included a number of under-18 eligible players including Mason Grady, Ethan Lloyd, Theo Cabango and Theo Bevacqua. 

Cook, who gained experience in his early days by playing in the Anglo Welsh Cup, believes the Celtic Cup gives youngsters invaluable game-time in high standard games, and they can only learn and benefit from the opportunities.

“I thought some of the younger boys stepped up well, and having been in their shoes, these type of games are invaluable, hands-on experiences which you’ll learn a lot from,” said Cook.

“It’s easy to forget how young boys like Ethan [Lloyd], Mason [Grady] and Theo [Bevacqua] are but they played with no fear and managed to put their stamp on the game.

“Like I mentioned, even with a lot of younger boys being involved, the pack really held its own both in the scrum and the line-outs and you could see that these boys were hungry to make an impression.

“Boys like myself, Jim [Botham] and Ethan [Lewis] are there to lead by example, and hopefully everyone can take something out of the experience and develop their game.

“As a youngster, this competition helps you learn both on and off-the-field, and working with the likes of TRT and Gethin Jenkins is massive.

“There’s another tough trip to Munster next week and whoever is involved in Ireland will be going all-out to bounce back from this defeat.

“Going away and preparing in a professional environment will be another learning curve for the academy boys.”