Burnell: Parks is our man so stick by him

Guinness PRO12 Editor

13 Dec 2011

Cardiff Blues coach Justin Burnell has told fans to lay off fly-half Dan Parks after the Scottish international kicked his team to a third successive Heineken Cup win.

The 33-year-old notched up 20 points against high-flying Edinburgh to put the Blues in the box seat to top their group.

And despite finding themselves just outside the play-off places in the RaboDirect PRO12, Burnell insists Parks has been doing his bit there as well.

“Up until the Leinster game last weekend [which the Blues lost 52-9] I think we were the side who had scored the most tries in the Pro12,” he told the Wales on Sunday.

“We are scoring tries this year when we didn’t last year and I don’t think it is an element for concern.

“We have four or five bonus points this season already for scoring maximum tries, so that really speaks for itself.”

Against Edinburgh, who had came into the game on the back of a 50-10 RaboDirect PRO12 win over Aironi, Parks was metronomic with the boot, slotting four penalties, two drop goals and a conversion.

And Burnell told fans they need look no further than Wales’ all-time record points scorer to see the importance of an accurate kicker.

He added: “At the end of the day it’s the old Neil Jenkins scenario of three, six, nine, 12, 15.

“Dan keeps the scoreboard ticking over and he keeps us moving forward.

“People are quick to say he kicks a lot of ball away but they lose sight of the fact that he keeps us going forward.

“Every time Edinburgh were penalised in their own half Dan was stepping up and kicking points. With every side, when you are conscious of that it can be unsettling."