Richard Hodges has paid tribute to his experienced 7s internationals after Cardiff Blues booked their place in the final of the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series.
Wales Capital Region conquered all three regional rivals as they finished top of Pool A at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park.
They will now travel to Coventry on August 7, for the series final, and will be joined by the Ospreys who qualified as runners-up.
Dane Blacker stole the show in the final encounter with Newport Gwent Dragons, scoring the first try and a last-gasp match winner but Hodges insists that would have been possible without the experience he drafted in from Wales 7s.
He said: “When we won it two years ago we had a good balance of experience and youth but last year we went away from that and played boys from the Under-20s, who had just come back from the World Cup and it didn’t really work.
“We went back to what works for us and the likes of Adam (Thomas), Owen (Williams), (Ben) Roach and (Geraint) Walsh deserve so much credit because they have led the group on and off the field during training this week.
“That took the pressure off the academy lads, some of which were playing their first game of senior rugby. The likes of Ben Thomas, Cameron Lewis and Declan Williams were able play their normal game without too much pressure.
“Dane was close to getting player of the tournament, for a guy who has just turned 18, he deserves a huge amount of credit and he’ll go off to South Africa with Wales Under-18s now.
“Unfortunately we will be going to Coventry without a lot of those youngsters because they are with the Under-18s but it’s part of their development and the bigger picture.”
The Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series finals take place at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday 7 August. For tickets and details visit premiershiprugby.com/singha7stickets
Ospreys 15 (Penalty try, Spratt, Baker)
Cardiff Blues 17 (Thomas, Jenkins, Crocker)
Newport Gwent Dragons 26 (Brew, Frewen, L Lewis, Robson)
Scarlets 12 (Davies, Pearce)
Newport Gwent Dragons 19 (Frewen, J Lewis 2)
Ospreys 21 (Andrews, Scrivens, Spratt)
Cardiff Blues 15 (Jenkins, Blacker, Beale, Roach)
Scarlets 12 (Edwards, Evans)
Ospreys 24 (Baker, Evans, Spratt, Andrews)
Scarlets 5 (Edwards)
Newport Gwent Dragons 22 (J Lewis 2, L Lewis, Levesley)
Cardiff Blues 24 (Blacker 2, Jenkins, Tomlinson)