Shane Lewis-Hughes is confident that his Cardiff side are heading in the right direction after a spirited display against Harlequins on Friday.
The sides had their fair share of 10 tries in a thrilling Heineken Champions Cup encounter at the Arms Park, but Marcus Smith’s last gasp penalty resulted in a gut-wrenching defeat for Dai Young’s men.
Welsh international Lewis-Hughes was proud of how his side responded following last week’s disappointing defeat in Edinburgh and firmly believes they can build on Friday’s performance as they prepare to face defending champions Toulouse next week.
“You can’t fault the effort of the boys, and it’s one of those games where you come out and back your boys,” said the back row.
“I felt that we did that but there were a couple of penalties that we gave away that cost us.
“That’s the rugby we want to play and just because we’re on the losing side it doesn’t mean we need big changes.
“It’s the rugby we want to keep on playing. We might lose some games but hopefully, as the weeks go on, we’ll get better and better.
“We haven’t played rugby in a long time. Last week was our first game back together and we’ve improved this week.
“We’ve just got to keep improving and getting better from there.
“The reasons you play rugby as a player is to compete in these games and play against the best teams.
“That was evident tonight. We want to face teams like Harlequins, Toulouse and Leinster.
“They’re really tough games but that’s where you want to be. If you’re challenging those teams, you’re in a good position.”
The Champions Cup encounter was only Lewis-Hughes’ third outing of the season, having had to deal with injuries and various Covid disruptions.
With fans set to be welcomed back into the Arms Park for the URC clash with Leinster in a fortnight, the Welsh international forward is delighted to be back but believes the Blue and Blacks faithful would’ve provided a big boost on Friday.
“It’s been a bit of a frustrating year between Covid and injuries and I could definitely tell I’ve been off for three or four months,” added the academy product.
“The lungs were burning but I felt I went alright, considering it was my first start back.
“Once again I’ll get back to training and hopefully, if given the opportunity, keep getting better in these games.
“That’s all we can do as individuals and as a team.
“It’s about building that chemistry and getting the timings right, and we can’t expect miracles after one game.
“We were disappointed with how last week went but to push Harlequins, right down to the last minute, is a massive plus.
“It’ll be massive to welcome fans back. That crucial last 10 minutes, where we have the ball, is where fans would’ve made a massive difference.
“They get right behind you and whenever something happens, like a try or turnover, they’ll be going crazy.
“We can build off that type of momentum and we can’t wait to have them back.”