Gareth Anscombe insists Cardiff Blues can take heart from their 40-16 defeat to Glasgow Warriors as attention turns to the European Challenge Cup.
While the score-line suggests it was a one-sided victory for the hosts at Scotstoun Stadium, Wales’ Capital Region remained very much in the contest until 67 minutes.
A controversial red card to Taufa’ao Filise on 29 minutes proved decisive and despite regaining the lead 15 minutes into the second-half the Blues eventually ran out of steam with the Guinness PRO14 Conference A leaders showing no mercy.
They ran in three tries in the final ten minutes, two of which came after 77 minutes, and Anscombe believes the full-time score-line gives an unfair reflection of a performance full of guts and determination against a side who remain unbeaten in the PRO14.
He said: “The last couple of tries were a bitter blow. We were in the game at half-time and we were pretty pleased with the way we were going, even though we were defending a lot.
“But in the end playing with 14, and then 13-men, against a top side against Glasgow and the way they like to play, it was always going to tell.
“We probably hurt ourselves a bit but I was proud of the boys. I thought we defended well in patches, if not most of the game, until the last 10 minutes where there were a couple of calls here and there.
“The red card is what it is and you have to accept the decision. We started both halves well, which was really pleasing. Once we lost another player to the bin we were always pushing up hill.
“I’m gutted with the end result but there’s a few positives to build on.”
Anscombe started his first encounter as captain at full-back due to injuries and moved to fly-half mid-way through the second-half.
It was the first 80 minutes he had clocked since returning with injury and he is now focused on recovering to face Sale Sharks next Saturday.
The Blues sit top of Pool Two of the Challenge Cup having claimed impressive victories over Lyon and Toulouse and the double header against the English club will undoubtedly prove decisive in their quest to reach the knockout stages.
Anscombe added: “The body is a little banged up and there are a few boys in the sheds who are pretty sore but I’m glad to be back out there with the boys.
“I’m disappointed with the result but when we apply ourselves there are a few positives we can take out of that and take them onto Europe.
“That’s massive for us really, we have an eight-day turnaround now and we definitely need that.
“It’s not all doom and gloom, we showed a lot of heart and our defence was strong for most of the game. Sale away and home, we need at least one win there to keep building on what we have done in Europe so far.”