By David Williams
John Mulvihill believes his Cardiff Blues team can make Rodney Parade a home from home as they began their tenancy with a victory over Connacht.
The head coach saw the Blues make it two wins from two in the Guinness Pro14 with a 29-7 bonus point win at their temporary new home.
With the Cardiff Arms Park surface in need of replacing after damage caused by its support use for the Principality Stadium’s Dragon’s Heart hospital next door, the Blues have re-located to a ground where the surface has often been criticised.
But Mulvihill insisted: “It’s a really good pitch here in Newport, and the boys have enjoyed playing here and we’ll keep coming here as long as we have to.”
Connacht’s trip to Wales on the day of the game looked like it played a part as they were sluggish in the first half with the Blues scoring through Hallam Amos and the boot of fly-half Jarrod Evans.
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Andy Friend’s men failed to register a point before the break but did score through Conor Oliver in the second period.
They did not make the most of an opposition yellow card and Amos’ second was the game’s crucial score before a penalty try and one from Kristian Dacey gave the Blues a bonus point.
Mulhihill added: “We lifted the intensity again from last week. Last week we drew the maturity to get out of our own end, but didn’t really bring our attacking game.
“But today we were good coming out of our end but also had that sharpness in attack and that’s what we wanted to bring. That was the focus for the week.
“We knew that Connacht are a good team who are well coached, and we knew they were going to come at us hard around the rucks.
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“We had to aim up tonight, physically, and keep getting up and getting back in the line. The on-field leaders stepped up really well and put us in the right positions on the pitch.
“We hadn’t touched the ball for 15 minutes when they scored in the second half, and we had a yellow card.
“But all we needed to do after that was get the ball in the right areas of the park, and we knew that we could put them under pressure.
“In every game that you play, the opposition will own the game for some period of time. It’s about limiting that time, and I think we’ve done that well tonight.”