Heineken Cup: Cardiff Blues boss Phil Davies full of pride after stunning win over Toulon
Cardiff director of rugby Phil Davies hailed his "magnificent" players after they saw off Heineken Cup holders Toulon.
Last Updated: 20/10/13 11:03am
The Blues bounced back from their disappointing 44-29 loss to Exeter last time out to topple their Top 14 opponents in a thrilling Pool 2 contest.
Jonny Wilkinson's five penalties looked to be enough for the reigning kings of Europe, only for the hosts to hit back in the closing stages.
Substitute Gareth Davies' late try, converted by Leigh Halfpenny, snatched the win for Cardiff and left birthday boy Davies celebrating the perfect gift.
"We have always felt we were going in the right direction, and the players were magnificent today. They fronted up superbly. It was a great win against a very good team," he said.
"We were disappointed with the first half last week, but we showed a lot of resilience in the second period to come back and get a bonus point, and that bonus point looks pretty good today.
"Physically and emotionally, the players went perhaps to another level today. I think that was the youngest back division that Cardiff Blues have ever put on the field.
"We are back in the group, which is the most important thing. We've just got to keep building and building and become more consistent.
"It was great we got the result and it was great to hear the crowd singing. It was like the old days. We will keep moving forward and hopefully we can replicate more days like this one."
Blues number eight Robin Copeland, who was named man of the match, paid a glowing tribute to Davies, who had a 50th birthday to savour.
"I am so happy for Phil," Copeland said. "He has got so much passion, he really does give everything to this region. He takes so much stick, but he is working so hard.
"He sat down beside me in the changing room afterwards, and there were tears in his eyes. That is how much it means to him. I have a lot of respect for the man.
"Days like this are why you play the game. I loved every single second of that. It was a feeling of absolute elation when Gareth scored. We wanted it so badly, and we worked so hard for it.
"It is massive for our self-belief and shows what we need to do to win games at this level. It is about having belief in yourself, everyone around you and the systems. Every single player left it all on the pitch today.
"We have beaten the best in Europe today, and that is the attitude we need to have. We need to take all that positive energy, hunger and keep going."