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he Was The Catalyst – Jenkins

he Was The Catalyst – Jenkins

A relieved Llanelli coach Gareth Jenkins praised Heineken Man of the Match Dave Hodges for “changing the course of the game” after his side had recorded the double over Sale Sharks in Pool 3.

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And then he thanked the Scottish side Glasgow for providing Llanelli “with the perfect Christmas present” with their 13-12 win over Bourgoin.

“Dave Hodges changed the game. He brought a different impetus and direction into proceedings and he showed us where the gain line was,” said Jenkins at the end of his side’s 17-12 win.

“He was the catalyst in the turn around in our fortunes in the second half. But full credit to my team for not losing their composure.

“We were behind and getting nowhere because their defence was awesome. They were resilient and well organised and demonstrated in Wales at Stradey Park what a capable team they are.

“We threw everything, including the kitchen sink, at them, but the key thing was we were composed and didn’t panic. We won it through the forwards – they were a big influence throughout the game.

“We were making a statement at Stradey Park about what we belong to. This competition measures you against the very best in Europe and reflects the standard at club level in the same way the Six Nations does at international level.

“This tournament is about your town and country and helps you to establish where your club scene is. I had a lump in my throat for much of the game. It seemed to grip the people in the stands and I’m sure it was exacting to watch for them at least.

“We got the odd lucky bounce to get the result. Bourgeon losing puts the group in our hands. It’s perhaps in our destiny to progress if we can win the two remaining games, although they are both very difficult.”

As for American international Hodges, he was determined to make an impact after being left out of the starting line-up.

“It was not our best start of the season. We were a bit complacent after our big win last week,” said Hodges.

“I thought the ball was going to go through the hands before the try, but when the kick went in there was no one there. It was a really good kick and it bounced up into my hands.

“Not starting was a big disappointment to me and the only thing I knew was that I had to make an impact when I came on. Now we’ve got two big games to accomplish in January.”

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