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Sherratt disappointed by slow start to the game

12th May 2024

Head coach Matt Sherratt was disappointed after his side's loss to the Lions and blamed the defeat on Cardiff's slow start to the game, which saw them trail 14-0 after just 14 minutes.

The Blue and Blacks were able to rally early in the second half, but gave themselves too much to do and failed to convert a couple of opportunities, before the home side pulled away late in the game.

"Obviously we're disappointed with the result," said Sherratt. "We put a big emphasis all week on starting well because we knew they finished quite strongly so what we didn't want to do is chase the game around the 65 minutes mark.

"Our start probably wasn't good enough in terms of we switched off a couple of times, gave them some easy access to our 22 and then switched off on a penalty and Lions are the type of team that can go 80 meters which they did so it's easy to look at the end of the game but I think the start of the game going 14-3 down put us on the back foot.

"It can get out of control over here and I think I'm obviously disappointed at the moment but I need to probably reflect on it as well, it's a lot of our young players' first time playing out here with altitude, the travel, the conditions, but without making excuses it does play a part.

"We were probably a little bit shocked I think in the first 10 minutes, put a bit of pressure on ourselves, but as this team always does at half time, we rallied, scored a good try, got back into the game and then didn't really take our chances when we got into their 22, be it a knock on or a missed line out.

"Out here you have to take every chance you get and we've probably not been good enough at that in the last couple of weeks."

The Blue and Blacks are next in action on Saturday against Sharks, and have fond memories playing in Durban having won their last encounter there 0-35.

"We had a really good win there last year so I think we've got positive memories of that," added Sherratt. "Conditions-wise we're usually a little bit better at Durban with it at sea level.

"We've just got to freshen up now, there's a few bumps and bruises in the squad but we've got two efforts left this season. So it's about a good training week and looking forward to taking on a very good sharks team next Saturday."