Director of Rugby Mark Hammett admitted he could not have asked for anymore from his Cardiff Blues as they produced their best performance of the season - but conceded that indiscipline had cost them victory at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park.
A late try from Paddy Butler broke home hearts as Munster Rugby snatched a dramatic win after earlier tries from Lucas Amorosino and man-of-the-match Manoa Vosawai had put Blues ahead with less than six minutes remaining.
“The changing room is pretty quiet, as you would imagine,” said Hammer. “But from a coaching perspective, when you take the result out and look solely at the action in the game, that is the best we played this season.
“We played well for long periods, the structure was good, our intensity was good and our ball carrying was good. What let us down was individual skill sets, passing and missing touch.
“From a collective, it is hard to ask more from the group,” he added. “Munster played until the end and had chances to shoot a goal and backed their line out, so credit to them. But our mistakes put them in good positions.
“The first half, we were trailing 18-14 and it was penalties that cost us. On halfway we were going too hard with side entry and not rolling away.
“They very rarely got into our half in the first 40 minutes, but they kept ticking over the points. If you look at the reason we lost it would be indiscipline, certainly in the first half.”
Hammer also praised the performance of Vosawai – who carried 26 times for over 100 metres – and newcomer Amorosino who claimed a debut score.
“Manoa was very good and we need to have people supporting him in that area,” he said. “He is strong and we want to get him more and more involved. But, without doubt, he was exceptional in the contact.
“Lucas was extremely solid; he caught every high ball, didn’t turn anything over and scored a nice try. His kicking game was good and he was accurate on defence.
“I walked away, and I‘m sure the crowd walked away, thinking he is a good signing. His challenge is to back those performances up.”