Cardiff Blues assistant coach Matt Sherratt has claimed they should be “proud” of all but the last 11 minutes of their 37-9 hammering at Leinster.
The Blues conceded three tries in those final stages in Dublin on Friday night, but in a remarkably upbeat assessment of their display, Danny Wilson’s right-hand man has insisted they should puff out their chests at the fact they were only losing 16-9 before the wheels came off.
The Blues have lost both their opening matches for far in the Guinness Pro14, but such was their low starting standard at home to Edinburgh a week before that Sherratt reckons their visit to Ireland gave reason for satisfaction, even though they had failed to score a try – or look like doing so – before Leinster’s try-blitz.
“We obviously needed a reaction after last week, we were disappointed with our emotional levels against Edinburgh but this week for 69 minutes we put in a real performance that everyone at the Blues can be proud of,” Sherratt told the Blues’ official website.
“As a coaching and playing group we have to take heart from those first 69 minutes. We are 16-9 down and are in the game but they are a good Leinster team, they had half a chance and took it and the game ran away from us.
“It’s tough to take, you don’t come to lose games, especially in the manner we did in the last 10 minutes but we have to look past it.
“We have to focus on a performance for 69 minutes that we can be proud of and the fact that we are blooding some really good youth.”
The Blues’ next three matches don’t appear any easier – particularly for their callow-looking pack – with a home visit from in-form title favourites Glasgow next up.
They then face Connacht away and an equally tough trip back to Ireland to play Munster at Thomond Park.
Former Bristol coach Sherratt added: “We were disappointed with our performance last week and we owe it to ourselves and importantly to our supporters to turn up next Saturday and put in a performance that the supporters can leave the Arms Park proud of.”