Following a wayward second half at Cardiff Arms Park, Dai Young says Cardiff must take their heavy defeat to Scarlets on the chin as focus now turns to European knockout action.
Despite leading at the break, a series of injuries and two yellow cards saw the Blue and Blacks losing grip of the derby as Scarlets stormed to back-to-back derby wins in clinical fashion.
While Young refused to fault the effort of his squad, he admits that his side struggled to cope with Scarlets’ physicality in the second half.
The director of rugby said: “They scored something like 14 points during the yellow card period, then the last two tries came from chucking caution into the wind. The game had gone by then and the messages from us was to try to get four tries and get points that way.
“I’m disappointed and as I told the players, everything in the second half that could’ve gone wrong did go wrong.
“It wasn’t a great start to lose your captain in the warm-up, but I was pleased for 30 minutes.
“But then the set-piece started creaking and they found a way to dominate the game through that area.
“Certainly things were chucked at us but that wasn’t the reason why we lost. We were dominated at set-piece time and they got on top of us from there.
“It’s never nice, and when you look at it it’s 42-0 in the second half. That’s the worst thing.
“But you’ve got to take it on the chin. They were too physical for us up front and we couldn’t match them.
“But at the end of the day you ask for effort and commitment and I’m not doubting that. That was excellent in the first half. We were carrying with real intent, getting over the gain-line, coming off the line and winning collisions.
“Just before half time they got the try, which got them right back in there. Second half is was all them. It started at the set-piece and they just strangled us.”
Cardiff were down to 13 men at one point, after both Jarrod Evans and Seb Davies were sent to the sin bin by referee Adam Jones, while the likes of Will Boyde, Kirby Myhill, Matthew Screech and Ellis Jenkins were all forced off with injuries leaving Liam Belcher and Garyn Smith to feature in the back row.
Young admits nothing went their way after the break but that the visitors’ dominance at set piece ultimately told on the scoreboard.
“A lot of injuries and yellow cards didn’t help us but once any team get their tails up, it’s hard to turn around,” added the former Wales international.
“It was pretty blatant for everyone to see. Our set-piece creaked and once it starts creaking you give away penalties. That gave Scarlets field position, momentum which had a knock-on effect on giving more penalties away.
“In the second half we had 30 per cent possession and 25 per cent territory so you’ll always struggle to get into the game.
“Then anything that could go wrong did go wrong. Two yellow cards, a number of injuries. We finished off in the last 15 minutes with a centre on the flank and a hooker on the flank.”