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Match Reaction: Cardiff Blues 9 Leicester Tigers 43

Sebastian de Chaves admits captaining Leicester Tigers to an LV= Cup victory over Cardiff Blues was one of the highlights of his career.

The 24-year-old led his side out at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park and helped inspire a comeback victory which saw the Tigers score 43 unanswered points and secure a home draw for the semi-final.

Gareth Davies’ boot had given the home side a 9-0 lead before Owen Williams slotted a penalty over and two tries in two minutes at the end of the first-half from Fraser Balmain and Niall Morris got the Tigers into their groove.

They came out with real menace in the second period and tries from Tommy Bell, David Mele and a double from Adam Thompstone sealed an emphatic win.

And the South African says he was delighted with such a solid performance.

“I feel really privileged just to be able to captain such a talented group of boys and such a good group of boys on and off the field,” he said.

“It really was one of the highlights of my career, I was nervous to start off with but once you get going it’s fine.

“I think I should quit while I’m ahead with a 100 per cent record. It was just a great team performance from all the boys and it was a privilege to be a part of it.”

The victory means the Tigers have four wins from their four LV= Cup fixtures and sit atop of Pool 3 with 18 points.

And that form means they will run out at Welford Road for the semi-final – a fact that left de Chaves beaming.

“A lot of the boys who played have either been on loan or come in and train and don’t get a look in,” he added.

“We’re four from four and it’s really good to go back to the club and say we did that and we have got a home semi-final.

“We settled into the game and started to get momentum which was good.

“In the week leading up we spoke a lot about controlling the ball and maybe we got a bit too excited early on, but in the last ten minutes of the first half we put them under a lot of pressure and two tries in two minutes was a reward for the hard work.

“We knew we would have to step it up again in the second half and we weren’t going to be complacent.

“We wanted to have a big ten or 15 minutes and I think we did that and that’s when we took the wind out of their sails.”

Cardiff Blues: Walsh (Lodge 76), Jenkins, Tuculet (Phillips 44), Thomas (Patchell 49), Amorosino, Davies, Knoyle (L Williams 40); Davies (Thyer 59-62), Williams (E Lewis 62), Mitchell (Filise 39-40, 56), Normandale, Reed (Roach 40), Cook, Jenkins, Sheekey
 
Leicester Tigers: Bell, Morris (Smith 67), Catchpole, Roberts (Hepetema 69), Thompstone, Williams, Mele (Harrison 61), Pearce (Peterson 40), Thacker, Gibson, De Chaves (Price 61), Whetton, Balmain (Mulipola 55), Briggs (Nairn 67), Rizzo (Bristow 50).
 
Cardiff Blues

Pen: Davies (3) 
 
Leicester Tigers 
 
Tries: Balmain, Morris, Mele, Bell, Thompstone 2
Penalties: Williams
Conversions: Williams 3, Bell 2

Referee: Leighton Hodges
Attendance: 5,742

Tickets for this year's LV= Cup Final on 22 March at Franklin's Gardens are now on sale. Click here to snap one up from just £20 for adults, £10 for juniors to see who will win the first silverware of the season.

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