Josh Adams was left bitterly disappointed by Cardiff’s last gasp loss to Harlequins in the Heineken Champions Cup but believes they wrote a blue print for the future.
The Blue and Blacks, who were finally able to field a first team in Europe, led for the vast majority of the encounter at an empty Arms Park and ran Harlequins ragged with five tries in a 10-try thriller.
However, there was one final cruel twist as Harlequins, who drew level in the closing minutes, snatched a penalty and won with the final kick of the game.
Adams said: “It’s a tough one to take, especially when you lose right at the end like that it’s bitterly disappointing.
“I thought for 75-76 minuets we were really on it. We were far better than last week and looked like we had a bit of an edge to us with and without the ball.
“We demonstrated what we want to look like as a team with that try from the kick-off. That’s our DNA. We have exciting players where we can do stuff like that.
“We said in the changing room that this is us. This is who we want to be and how we want to play the game and the only way we will get better is if we hang our hat on that and take it forward.
“Sometimes we might concede and might make an error but let’s not get each other’s backs, let’s make sure we’re constantly positive and try to play the right way.
“It’s just frustrating because if I’m totally honest I thought we were the better side.”
Cardiff, who played the first two rounds with 32 players in quarantine where other games were forfeited or postponed with a share of the spoils, remain bottom of their Pool.
They face reigning champions Toulouse on their own patch next week and need to snatch something from the encounter, while hoping other results go their way to have any chance of progressing in the second tier Challenge Cup.
Adams continued: “It will certainly be difficult for us now, losing three games, but we’ll go out there with nothing to lose and will make sure we learn from this. There was certainly learnings from it but there were an awful lot of positives.
“We will certainly go out to Toulouse next week and give it our best shot and play some good rugby.
“The disruption with the boys in South Africa, quarantine and then games called off over Christmas because of Covid, it is difficult. We showed a lit of rustiness last week but we got it out of us and it was a clear improvement. Hopefully we can move forward from that.”
The Blue and Blacks are next in action when they welcome their third title-winning opponents in as many weeks with a United Rugby Championship clash against holders Leinster.
But for the first time in more than a month, supporters will be able to attend and Adams simply cannot wait, pointing to the difference they may have made against Quins.
He added: “How good would that have been (crowds). I’m sure it would have been one of the biggest gates of the season, a Friday night and the English champions in town.
“I’m just thankful now with the restrictions getting lifted that from next week we can welcome as many supporters as we like. It’s brilliant to have everyone back. Rugby is nothing without supporters.”