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What we can do is try and get better - Sherratt

Events | 22nd October 2023

Head coach Matt Sherratt and his side were left to rue a disappointing second half performance after having a 19-3 lead overhauled late in the game.

The Blue and Blacks looked on course for an opening victory after tries from Liam Belcher, Rhys Carre and Ellis Bevan put Cardiff in control. The visitors hit back with two tries of their own either side of half-time before a late penalty from Jacob Umaga snatched the win.

Post-match, Sherratt was keen to reflect on the positives from the game, especially from the first half performance. 

"I just said to the players, listen, we've been on the other side of those on occasions, and it's important that we don't judge the whole game on one moment," said Sherratt.

"First half, I thought we were really good. I think we had seven entries into their 22. I think they had two in ours, and we couldn't keep that going in the second half.

"We put a lot of pressure on them and second half we weren't able to do that. There's probably times probably on about 40 minutes to around 60 minutes where we couldn't get any control of the game.

"I thought our kicking and catching game was good. Our set piece was excellent. Our multi phase defense was excellent. So a lot of the areas that are going to keep you in games were pretty good. It was just we weren't able to apply enough pressure in the second half to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

"I've just said to the players, let's not be a team that our mood is completely dependent on the score board because we can't control that every week. What we can do is try and get better.

"We have some young players, a new halfback combination and new 15. They are going to learn by playing. So, as I said, it's not going to be a straight line.

"Both halfbacks were solid. I thought Ellis Bevan was good, his basics were good, his passing, his kicking, his inside support for the try. I thought he tried to manage the game pretty well.

"Tinus de Beer had some good moments, so there'll be little bits and pieces we can look at as a group that they can improve, but I think it was a solid first showing really."

Prop Ciaran Parker was sent off for dangerous play on his competitive debut for the Club. The penalty enabled Benetton to take a late lead which they did not relinquish.

Sherratt was keen to highlight Parker's positive impact from the bench, but admitted it was a costly error.

"Ciaran (Parker) actually did very well when he came on and made a real impact. He's added loads to the group and he added loads for 25 minutes. He was very good at the defensive contact area," added Sherratt.

"It was multi phase defence. You get tired and there's going to be an error. It's unfortunate, especially when there was just 90 seconds left. It's just about learning technique but we have no complaints about the red."