Cardiff Blues backs must work harder - Josh Turnbull

Josh Turnbull takes on Munster
Josh Turnbull takes on Munster

Cardiff Blues' backs must be as effective as their forwards according to flanker Josh Turnbull.

Munster consigned Blues to a 28-24 Pro12 defeat, their fifth of the campaign.

Blues led 24-21 before Paddy Butler's winning try.

"The forwards are working their socks off and we need to get the backs on the same hymn sheet, really," said Turnbull, who joined Blues from Scarlets in the summer.

"The last few weeks the forwards have been there or thereabouts and I think the backs are starting to come into the game a little bit more when we're on the front foot.

"I think if you're looking at our possession we're keeping the ball for long periods of time and going through a lot of phases and making teams defend for long periods of time as well [and] no-one likes defending.

Blues flanker Josh Turnbull on approach to referees
"We could probably have been a bit more forceful and you look at Munster and especially them and Leinster and teams that are at the top, they're into the ref straight away."I think we can be more like that as well and again that's the learning thing as well."We need to learn from the best teams and see what they do well."

"And we're making those line breaks and we've just got to be more clinical and finish them off."

That lack of a cutting edge left Blues exposed to Munster's renowned battling qualities. It also left the Welsh team with only one tournament win in seven starts.

However, a losing bonus point allowed Mark Hammett's side to go above Welsh rivals Newport Gwent Dragons in the table after the latter's 23-6 defeat in Ulster.

Turnbull, 25 and capped seven times by Wales, added: "We just got ourselves ahead [against Munster] and then tried to play in our own 22, gave them a penalty and they're straight back in the game.

"And that's not what we're about.

"We need to learn very quickly and we've been in that situation before a couple of weeks ago when we lost to Ulster and Glasgow at home.

JJ Hanrahan kicks for the posts
JJ Hanrahan kicked seven penalties for Munster at Cardiff Blue

"We were playing too much in our own areas and killing ourselves, really."

Blues now break from Pro12 duties as Wales' November Tests beckon while LV= Cup games against Newcastle Falcons and Scarlets are on their agenda.

Wales' capital city side return to Pro12 action at Edinburgh on 23 November, followed by hosting Treviso five days later.

Turnbull said: "We've got to get to Ws [wins] if we want to achieve anything in this league because we're really starting to get left behind."

Blues flanker Josh Turnbull on dropped Wales prop Adam Jones
"We turned them over, got a couple of scrum penalties and to be fair he's working really hard around the field as well and you can see that."He's trimmed down a bit and he's looking really good out there."And the same with Sam Hobbs - he's working really hard on his game and he's another one who's putting it about on the field as well."

A review of Blues' tactical kicking approach may also be necessary, says Turnbull.

"If you look at the first half, we had one line-out and they had five, six, seven maybe and they drove a lot of them and they got a lot of reward out of them," he said.

"And whether that's just smart play or there was a game plan not to give us any line-outs I don't know.

"But second half we had a few more, but again we didn't have as many as them and they built their game off those line-outs.

"So I don't know whether we need to review that a little bit.

"And we're giving teams easy possession by kicking the ball out and [it's a case of] whether we need to kick longer and make them counter-attack with it and we get a good line chase defensively."

However, amid the disappointment of defeat by Munster, Turnbull believed there were encouraging signs.

He said: "Definitely - our power game, our pick and go game, driving line-out game; again keeping ball for long periods of time is what we've been working on, and holding our width.

"I think that was evident today at times."

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