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Page last updated at 06:31 GMT, Monday, 24 May 2010 07:31 UK

Boss Dai Young says Blues won Cup 'the hard way'

At the end the Blues celebrate being Wales' first European trophy winners
Cardiff Blues celebrate being Wales' first European trophy winners

Cardiff Blues boss Dai Young says winning the Amlin Challenge Cup the "hard way" helps makes it his best moment in charge.

They beat Toulon 28-21 in Marseille on Sunday to end a 15-year wait for a Welsh Euro success after trailing 13-6.

Young said: "This is by far my best moment with the Blues."

Cardiff Blues backer Peter Thomas also spoke of his pride at them being the first Welsh team to bring home a European trophy.

"All credit to the boys. Whenever you come away and play in France you know it's going to be hard and they were up for it and the victory was well deserved," said Blues chairman Thomas.

I can't tell you how proud I am that Cardiff Blues - for the whole region - are delivering a European trophy home to Wales

Blues chairman Peter Thomas

"It's all about stepping stones and the last five years has been progression.

"To be nominated now and seeded in the top six [for next season's Heineken Cup] is recognition of the hard work.

"Every year the bar will go up, every year our recruitment policy must be to improve, not only conditions but also our training and our whole approach to the game and the squad.

"But these guys are tight together. They're loyal, they play for each other, they play for their fans, for the coaches and they showed that spirit.

"This is the first European Cup that has ever come to Wales and I can't tell you how proud I am that Cardiff Blues - for the whole region - are delivering it home to Wales."

The Blues won the Anglo-Welsh EDF Cup last season, hammering Gloucester 50-12 in the final. But they lost to Leicester in a historic Heineken Cup semi-final penalty shoot-out in 2009.

Coaching boss Dai Young said winning in Marseille topped reaching last season's top-tier tournament semis, saying: "This is by far my best moment with the Blues.

"It was great to win the EDF last year, but winning things makes it all worthwhile and nobody can deny we've had to work to win this trophy and we've had to do it the hard way.

"We've had to go to Newcastle and win, we've had to go to Wasps and win and we've had to come and to this neutral venue out here and win.

"If you had to put it down to one thing it was sheer character. For large parts of that game, especially first half we were pretty much hanging in by our toenails.

"But we showed some real grit and determination and a real togetherness and a real will to win.

"But we knew if we could get enough ball in the right areas and go through some phases we'd cause them some problems and that proved to be the case.


"But we still had to fight for everything and it's a great day for the region. The players thoroughly deserve it because they put all their hard work in.

"It was warm out there. It was a very physical game, but in the last 10-15 minutes most players were running on empty out there.

"It was just sheer heart and togetherness.

"The last two seasons have been good for us in Europe. We were very disappointed last year cruelly to go out on penalties.

"Europe is a big flagship tournament for all of us. We'd love to be winning the Heineken Cup, but this certainly is the next best thing.

"It's a European competition. We're really proud to have been the first Welsh region to have lifted a European trophy."

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see also
Home-spun wisdom seals Blues glory
24 May 10 |  Welsh
Scarlets hail Blues Heineken help
23 May 10 |  Welsh
Cardiff Blues 28-21 Toulon
23 May 10 |  Welsh
Wales' sporting weekend in photos
20 May 10 |  Wales
Cardiff Blues v Toulon as it happened
23 May 10 |  Rugby Union
Wales' record in European finals
23 May 10 |  Welsh
Cardiff Blues 50-12 Gloucester
18 Apr 09 |  Rugby Union
European rugby archive
16 Aug 06 |  Rugby Union
European Challenge Cup 2009/10
21 May 09 |  Rugby Union
Scrum V's Welsh rugby webguide
14 Aug 07 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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