Dai Young believes the only positive from Saturday’s United Rugby Championship defeat to Scarlets is having the opportunity to bounce back immediately when the sides meet in Cardiff next week.
Despite an encouraging opening quarter for the Blue and Blacks in Llanelli, momentum swung in the favour of the home side as they clinched all five points.
It was a lively affair, with Josh Adams and James Botham crossing the whitewash for Cardiff, who had two yellow cards, while the hosts’ Sione Kalamafoni was sent off in the early stages of the second half.
Young now looks ahead to a crucial home tie against Dwayne Peel’s men and insists Cardiff must address the inconsistency between home and away performances.
“The only positive about tonight is that we have an opportunity to put it right next week,” said the Director of Rugby.
“We were really frustrated and disappointed with our performance but you can’t take anything away from Scarlets. I thought they were very good and better in every area but we have an opportunity and we have to be better than that.
“We have to look at ourselves as a coaching group because some messages we tried to filter to the squad didn’t hit the right notes. Certainly it’s not been consistent because last week we were very good for 30-40 minutes but didn’t get an 80 minute performance.
“Tonight we had 20 that wasn’t too bad but 60 that just wasn’t good enough.
“Next week is massive for us now. If we don’t get a result then it will probably slip away from us.
“Every game is important. I’m still getting to know a lot of the squad and we’ve had good and poor performances.
“That’s the really disappointing factor. We seem to take two steps forward and one back all the time.
“Hopefully we can get the result next week. If we can then it could go to the wire. It’s massive for us.
“It’s an opportunity, back at home, to right a few wrongs from tonight. But we can’t brush it under the carpet.
“It wasn’t good enough and we came second best in every area. We have to ask ourselves why.
“We also need to make sure it doesn’t become a regular occurrence. You don’t want to make too much of an issue of it but you have to ask questions because we haven’t won away from home yet. We’ve looked a different team when we’re home and away and that’s something we’ve already discussed internally.
“We don’t want to become known as that team but at the minute the evidence is there for us.
“Until you get the wins away from home, people will question it. We need to take it on the chin because we haven’t had a truly real good performance away from home yet.”
Young refused to take anything away from the hosts’ performance but admits his side didn’t have the platform to work their way back into the contest.
He added: “For the first 20 minutes we were in control but conceded a bit of a sloppy try to let them back in.
“After that it was all the Scarlets and for 60 minutes we came second best everywhere.
"We didn’t have any control. We didn’t have a set-piece, which was surprising. That’s something we’ve improved over the last few weeks but it didn’t happen for us tonight.
"None of our ball carriers were going forward and defensively we weren’t winning the gain-line.
"It then becomes very difficult to get back in the game but I won’t take anything away from the Scarlets. For the last 60 I thought they were by far the best team."