Cardiff Blues star Owen Jenkins believes his side have more Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series surprises in store after producing a thrilling display to seal their place at the Ricoh Arena final next month.
The Blues won all three of their group games at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park, including knocking out reigning champions Newport Gwent Dragons courtesy of a 24-22 nail-biter in the final game of the evening.
It came as a shock even to Jenkins himself, but now he feels their youthful team have even more to deliver in Coventry at the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s final on August 7.
“We’ve showed that we were the best 7s players on the night, even if not the best team in the competition,” he said.
“The confidence we had in each other carried us through; we’re a strong-minded team even if we don’t have the best individual players.
“That is what 7s is all about and that’s what teams will have to be wary of when they face off against us at the Ricoh Arena.
“But we’ll be going there on a surface and ground we’re unfamiliar with, and we’ll have to make do without the support of our fans, but it’s an excellent place to go and we’re now looking to see just how far we can go.”
Dane Blacker’s try after the hooter had gone sealed an unlikely comeback win for the hosts, downing the Dragons and helping the Ospreys also reach the finals for the first time in the process.
Ospreys too inflicted a defeat on the holders before beating Scarlets, and with a first trip to the Ricoh Arena showcase final on the horizon, Singha 7s captain Jonathan Spratt is excited for the new adventure with his team.
He said: “I’m extremely proud of all the boys; it was tough watching the last game on the sidelines knowing there was nothing we could do, but the players really put their hands up with stand-out performances across the night.
“With such a young group of players who have gelled well, the experience for them will be fantastic and a chance to play against Premiership Rugby's best will be pretty special.
“The Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series is getting bigger and better, and it’s only going to keep going that way with 7s becoming such a global sport.
“We’ve just got to go there and enjoy it, and hopefully we can progress and get better from where we were this time around. The level will get higher, and that’s something we’re relishing.”
The Singha Premiership Rugby 7s continues today at Sandy Park with the Finals at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday 7 August. For tickets and details visit premiershiprugby.com/singha7stickets
Ospreys 15 (Penalty try, Spratt, Baker)
Cardiff Blues 17 (Thomas, Jenkins, Crocker)
Newport Gwent Dragons 26 (Brew, Frewen, L Lewis, Robson)
Scarlets 12 (Davies, Pearce)
Newport Gwent Dragons 19 (Frewen, J Lewis 2)
Ospreys 21 (Andrews, Scrivens, Spratt)
Cardiff Blues 15 (Jenkins, Blacker, Beale, Roach)
Scarlets 12 (Edwards, Evans)
Ospreys 24 (Baker, Evans, Spratt, Andrews)
Scarlets 5 (Edwards)
Newport Gwent Dragons 22 (J Lewis 2, L Lewis, Levesley)
Cardiff Blues 24 (Blacker 2, Jenkins, Tomlinson)