Josh Turnbull is confident his side can learn from Saturday’s defeat to Vodacom Bulls, but warns the challenge won’t get any easier when Cell C Sharks visit the Arms Park next week.
Despite a promising first half, Cardiff slipped to a defeat against the South African outfit on Saturday after a powerful second half display from Jake White’s men.
The club captain insists there are plenty of learnings for his side in dealing with the physicality the Bulls brought and the Blue and Blacks must look to play to their own strengths.
“We knew what they were going to bring, which is physicality. We probably had the upper hand on them in the first half but in the second they got a bit of a rocket.
“They came out firing and our mentality was that whoever scored first in the second half would get the upper hand.
“It was pretty tight and it was them who did.
“We have to look at that through the week and move on because it won’t get any easier with Sharks next week.
“Jake White’s coaching mentality is to have big forwards who can run over the gain-line.
“Some of those boys I’ve seen before at Montpellier, when he was there. It’s up there with one of the biggest teams I’ve ever played against.
“They’ve got some pretty sharp backs as well and you can’t give them an inch.
“Our mentality if we get a penalty is to go for another penalty and then put the squeeze on. As a group that’s something we need to learn.
“We have to move the ball around and use the weather and pitch to our advantage.
“That’s what Matt Sherratt wanted to do this week, which is move that big front five around.
“At times we did that well but in the second half we didn’t keep hold of the ball long enough.
“It’s pretty tough when you’ve got big men running at you. Hodges, our defence coach, made the point at half time that we can’t go chest-to-chest with them.
“You won’t win battles like that because of the sheer size of them. You need to go low, lock the ball up and get time in the tackle to slow the ball up.
“It allows your defence to get set and at times we didn’t have that. That means we don’t have what we want, which is line-speed and opportunities at breakdowns.”