John Mulvihill was frustrated with a “missed opportunity” after his side fell to a narrow Guinness PRO14 defeat to Scarlets on Friday.
The hosts ran in two tries courtesy of wing duo Owen Lane and Josh Adams, but the boot of Leigh Halfpenny eventually proved the difference for the men from the west.
Mulvihill was disappointed with a lack of cutting edge in attack but insists his side must move on ahead of a crucial block of European fixtures.
“We had a very disappointed changing room, and that was a game that we should’ve won. We were definitely the ones that lost that game,” said the head coach.
“That was the best defensive effort we’ve had in a year and a half but you can’t give a team five back-to-back penalties, let them off the hook with ill-discipline in attack and not mount enough pressure and not take your points.
“It was two tries to one, and their one was an intercept, so they were going nowhere.
“Our defence stood up, our scrum was excellent, but the line-out let us down a little bit.
“Some of our decisions to try to offload in miracle situations probably cost us instead of being able to mount pressure on a team which would lead to points.
“It would’ve been nice to sit alongside them tonight, or in front of them, but you play them twice so you get a chance to rectify that.
“If we were better with the ball, it wouldn’t have come down to the missed kicks. We would’ve had more points through tries. It wasn’t our night in attack, but it definitely was in defence.
“It’s a really disappointing result for us. You can commend the way we played but in certain times we probably over-played a little bit.
“We know that we can be lightning in attack, but tonight we probably pushed the ball too many times.
“We have to dust ourselves off and prepare for Leicester and Calvisano before coming back into the league in late January.
“We need to win both games in Europe. That’s the crucial part of the next two weeks. We slipped up at home, so we need to win away and then at home and we can qualify.”
The encounter was the second consecutive fixture that saw a sold-out crowd at Cardiff Arms Park.
Mulvihill believes the atmosphere was electric at the capital city, but was disappointed not to treat the home fans to a win.
The Australian added: “That’s how good Cardiff Arms Park is when it’s full.
“Lots of noise, lot of energy and a lot of emotion around the place.
“It’s just disappointing that we didn’t get the win for us.
“But had we snuck a win at the end, I would still be pretty unhappy with what we did with the ball. That was an opportunity we missed out on tonight.”