Despite last gasp heartbreak in the decisive Regional Age Grade Championship clash against Dragons on Wednesday, Cardiff under-18 head coach Chadd Mutyambizi insists the positivity of the campaign transcends the result on the night.
In the swirling winds of Ystrad Mynach, the two teams went head-to-head in a thrilling back-and-forth encounter, scoring four tries apiece despite the challenging weather conditions. The hosts’ penalty try with two minutes remaining ultimately proved to be crucial as Dragons lifted the trophy in dramatic fashion.
However, upon the final whistle, Mutyambizi was full of pride as he focused on the bigger picture at hand.
“The boys can take a lot from that, and they will learn that, at this level, you can’t give the opposition a sniff and keep them in the game by conceding a series of penalties,” said the head coach.
“But as I told them, they need to be proud of what they achieved over the block and we’ve seen good players across all the teams in Wales.
“So to get down to the last five minutes of the final game is an achievement for them and a credit to the work they’ve put in throughout the campaign.
“The intent to play rugby in this weather from both sides was outstanding.
“At the end, we had another opportunity where we were looking to score but knocked it on and they went up the other end. But I’d rather see that attitude towards the game at this age, rather than just seeing them kicking the leather off it.
“Over the last four or five weeks, we’ve seen some outstanding performances. Individuals have grown and the group has grown.
“We’ve learned a lot about these boys and how good they could be moving forward.
“We won’t know what the extent of success really is until further down the line, as we see these boys still playing and enjoying their rugby at various levels. That is the true measure of success for us, not purely a handful of 70 minute games. Finally, a huge congratulations to Dragons on a brilliant season and for playing their part in a thrilling finale on Wednesday."