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Wilson: Moments of meltdown hurting us

20th November 2015

Head Coach Danny Wilson could not hide his frustration at the inconsistency of his Cardiff Blues as the team fell to a 32-20 defeat at the hands of Harlequins in the European Rugby Challenge Cup.

The home side opened up a 6-3 half-time lead at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park courtesy of two penalties from Rhys Patchell before Quins took control with a three-try burst in the second half.

Cardiff Blues looked set to claim a losing bonus point after a fight-back resulted in a penalty try and late score from Sam Hobbs that cut the lead back to just five points.

But a red card to Matthew Rees was then followed by a try from Danny Care in the closing seconds to hand the English side maximum points and top spot in Pool 3.

“For the first 20 minutes it was all us and we scored a try in my opinion through Lloyd Williams and we should at least have gone to the TMO to look at it,” said Wilson.

“We didn’t come away from that period with enough points and then had a 20-minute spell either side of half-time where we made too many basic errors.

“There were two tries in that period against us when we had the ball and it was basic errors that shouldn’t be happening at this level of rugby.

“We put ourselves in a position when it is very difficult to defend against that type of turnover ball.

“They took their opportunities and then you saw another patch of ten minutes when we have got ourselves back in the game, got two tries to get within a bonus point and then you see that frailty that we have.

“Off the kick-off we can’t hold onto the ball for a couple of phases to see the game out and get the losing bonus point. Instead we concede again and that sums up where we are currently.

“We are too inconsistent,” he added. “We show patches of what we are capable of and then have moments of pure meltdown where we give the opposition way too many easy opportunities to score against us.

“I am pleased that we dug in and scored two tries, but the final blow is the last try that has come from nothing, a ball being ripped away in contact and they score in the corner. It turns the scoreline to a painful one.”

The result moved Harlequins to the top of Pool 3 and Wilson admitted conceding the late bonus point was a bitter pill to swallow.

He said: “They are sat pretty at the top and deserve what they have got at the moment.

“It’s disappointing that we didn’t come away with at least a losing bonus point having shown some guile to get back into the game.

“Ultimately it’s again about what we have conceded and not what we have scored. We have scored 20 points and lost a game. We’ve scored 100 points in our last three games.

“It’s not missed tackles that has cost us, it’s errors when we have got the ball that have led to turnovers that have led to tries."

Reflecting on the late red card to Matthew Rees, Wilson added: “Matthew is not that type of player. He is a very diligent professional with an extremely positive record behind him which will hopefully count for him when it’s discussed.

“There is no malice in it; it looks a clumsy situation, but it was a blow to us and a red card that knocks the stuffing out of you for the third time in the game.”