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Burnell seeks long-term benefit from Newcastle defeat

Guinness PRO12 Editor

16 Oct 2011

Cardiff Blues forwards coach Justin Burnell is keen for the scoreline from their LV= Cup defeat to Newcastle to be ignored, adamant instead that the run-out for his fringe players will prove crucial in the long run.

Burnell watched on as a young Blues side were hammered 33-3 by Aviva Premiership side Newcastle, shipping five tries in the process.

South African-full back Greg Goosen did the damage for the Falcons and had a hat-trick to his name before Rhys Patchell notched the Blues’ only score of the game with a 50th minute penalty.

But Burnell insists that he won’t be losing any sleep over the clash that saw 14 changes to the side that beat Aironi in their last RaboDirect PRO12 clash, already without a host of World Cup stars.

“The result, in a way, was an irrelevance from this game,” said Burnell.

“We had given 20 of our guys the week off and obviously have a lot of internationals away, so this competition was always going to be used as a development exercise for some of our younger players.

“At one point we had five 18-year-olds on the field against much more experienced opposition, and they will definitely have learnt from it.”