Blog Banner

We must learn the lessons from Toulouse to benefit long-term

First Team News | 9th December 2023

Matt Sherratt believes Cardiff can reap the benefits of a heavy defeat to Toulouse in the long-term and insists there will be no shortage of motivation against Bath next Saturday,

The young Blue and Blacks put up a brave performance in an immensely difficult opening Investec Champions Cup opener against the five times winners.

They competed for large periods and will be disappointed not to grab a try or two more to add to Mackenzie Martin’s first-half effort, while Toulouse were ruthlessly efficient. 

It was a scoreline that did not reflect Cardiff’s effort but Sherratt believes many of the young players involved can benefit from the experience.

He said: “I thought they tried their hardest right until the end, didn't they? 

“The difference is every time they got an entry into our twenty-two they took it because they've got a huge amount of power. We made a few mistakes and didn't quite have the same amount of firepower in that area. 

“Mackenzie Martin was outstanding today. It's his third or fourth game playing against some of the best players on the planet, in one of the toughest environments away to Toulouse.

“He didn’t look out of place, Lucas de la Rua, first start and what a place to make it. There’s genuinely a bright future for them and Cardiff. 

“I knew coming out here (it would be difficult. We’ve obviously been out here before and the atmosphere is unique in terms of fans pre-game, the journey to the to the ground with a police escort crowd and you're playing against some of the best players. 

“So for a lot of those young boys - both hookers, Rhys Litterick, Lucas de la Rua, Teddy Williams, Jacob Beetham, the list goes on. That will be an experience that will accelerate their development. 

“As I just said to them there though, if they sit down and learn from it, that's the key. It's not just experiencing it and then forgetting it, it's reflecting on it, looking at parts of their game that they can do better, looking at Toulouse and seeing what the best in the world do, and then it will be a good experience. But they've got to cement that experience by learning from it.”

Cardiff must quickly brush the 52-7 defeat aside with Bath, who enjoyed a comfortable win over Ulster, arriving at the Arms Park in a week’s time. 

Sherratt kept one eye on that fixture as he utilised his bench early and rested a handful of key players in France. 

And both he and the young squad are relishing the prospect of a European night at a packed Arms Park. 

He added: “People have asked me, what games are you going to target? We want to try and win every game. 

“We're going to try our best to be competitive and put as good a team as we can out on the pitch but the reality is, we need people fresh for our home games and our derbies. 

“I just said some on the pitch there. That's what Cardiff is all about. It's these big European nights against the best teams and I'm sure the Arms Park faithful will be out in numbers, playing a team from just over the bridge, in the best club competition, in one of the most iconic stadiums in rugby.


“I could sense it even straight after a disappointing loss there that our boys have got one eye on Bath next week. So, yeah, let's hope we get a packed Arms Park to give them an edge.”

Tickets for Cardiff Rugby vs Bath are available now by clicking here.