Dai Young says a capacity crowd at the Arms Park played their part in a thrilling Welsh derby on New Year’s Day.
A sell-out crowd of 12,125 saw Cardiff and Ospreys going toe-to-toe in another enthralling BKT United Rugby Championship derby, but it was the visitors who snatched victory courtesy of a late Owen Williams penalty.
But despite the result, Young hopes his side’s performance entertained the crowd and that they will return next week as Cardiff host Scarlets in another highly-anticipated clash.
“It was fantastic for Welsh rugby, not just for Cardiff Rugby, to see a full house back on a derby day,” said Young.
“I’ve been back a year now and we didn’t see that last year obviously. It was a fantastic occasion.
“We had a great atmosphere there. It got away from us a little bit today but I think we kept everybody entertained.
“We kept everybody in until the last minute and they’re a huge part of us moving forward as a club.
“The support has been fantastic. Hopefully they’ll come out and pack it up again next week and hopefully we can get on the right side of the result.
“It’s another home derby next week. We know the Scarlets are a decent team, and I’m sure they’ll be looking for something to really kick start their season.
“They came here last year and done a real job on us, and we’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen again.
“We’ve got to dust ourselves off. There were lots of positives in today’s game.
“I’m disappointed with some of the discipline and decision making around the contact area, and we have a few things to brush up on set piece-wise.
“But I thought Will Davies-King, in his first start in the URC, did pretty well against an experienced front row.”
Ospreys’ pack controlled the match for most of the second half, racking up the penalty count which ultimately proved decisive.
However, it was the lack of discipline in the contact area that left Young frustrated, but he was proud to see his side staying in the fight throughout the full 80 minutes.
The director of rugby added: “Certainly the set piece was a factor. I said last week, before the Dragons game, I don’t think there’s much between any of the Welsh teams.
“In the two games that we’ve seen, it has gone right down to the wire on both occasions, which proves there’s not much between us.
“But in the second half the penalties cost us again. We gave 13 penalties away.
“A lot of penalties were around the breakdown and around the halfway line, which gave the Ospreys plenty of opportunities inside our 22. If you get them four or five driving line-outs, five meters out, then they’re going to come away with seven points at some stage.
“In the second half, we really struggled to get out of our own half through indiscipline and obviously gave them all the field position and all the momentum.
“There were set piece penalties in there as well, which we try to avoid, but we know they’re a quality outfit in that area.
“The disappointing factor was some of the poor decisions we made around the breakdown, where it wasn’t really on to jackal but we went for them anyway.
“We certainly need to start adjusting to the referees in these games and in the second half we gave away too many penalties for not rolling or attempting jackals, which gave them the territory.
“To be honest, I didn’t feel they were going to threaten us with the ball unless it was inside our 22. We should have a little bit more confidence in our structures and defence and made them work a little bit harder for it.
“You’re always going to be disappointed with a loss. Last season they were far better than us, but this season that game could’ve gone either way.
“We were right there at the end and I was surprised that one of their tries was allowed with the blocking. The TMO came in and said it was a clear penalty but Adam chose to go with his on field decision, which is fair enough.
“On another day you might get that going your way so there wasn’t much in the game. But what I was pleased about was that I never felt that game was ever going to get too far away from us.
“You look at last season, we never really got any losing bonus points or try bonus points. If we lost, we lost big.
“But I felt today that game was never going to get too far away from us and we were always in the game. It’s something we’ve talked about - if we can stay in the game with 10 minutes to go, then games can go anywhere.
“Last week it went for us, this week it didn’t.”
Tickets for Cardiff’s Arms Park derby against Scarlets (January 7, 5.15pm) are available now but are selling fast. To secure your tickets click here.