Sam Warburton pleased for Cardiff Blues in Welsh derbies

Cardiff Blues open-side flanker Sam Warburton has won 49 Wales caps
Cardiff Blues open-side flanker Sam Warburton has won 49 Wales caps

Wales captain Sam Warburton heralded the Christmas derby period as a success after helping his Cardiff Blues side edge Newport Gwent Dragons.

Blues won 11-9 at Rodney Parade on New Year's Day, avenging their defeat at home to Dragons on Boxing Day.

The win on Thursday added to a 21-9 success over Scarlets that lifts Blues to eighth in the Pro12 table.

"Looking at the three Christmas derbies it's two out of three wins for us, which isn't bad," said Warburton.

"I think there's still a bit of a gap off that sixth place, we've still got to get some results.

"We've got Leinster at home, which is tough next up in 10 days' time and then into European rugby.

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"We won't have another Pro12 game for a few weeks after that, so it's quite important we win that next one and we'll edge closer to that top six then."

While Blues enhanced their prospects of qualifying for the European Champions Cup next season, flanker Warburton said he had enjoyed the matches over the festive period that culminated in the win at Dragons.

"That was a proper derby game, very close, really hotly contested at the breakdown and it's been pretty similar over the last two weeks," Warburton said.

"Every time I play against the Dragons they make it really competitive at the ruck area and they did the same again today.

"There's some players in their back-row very hard over the ball: Toby [Taulupe Faletau] did well, Nic Cudd, Coombsy [Andrew Coombs] is a nuisance to play against.

"They're great games to play and the crowd was fantastic here at Rodney Parade and made a lot of noise.

"With a lot of friends on the opposition they're great Christmas derbies to play in."

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