‘Cardiff will learn from first defeat’ – Wilson

Date published: October 2 2016

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Cardiff Blues boss Danny Wilson insists his team will learn from their agonising defeat to Leinster as a Welsh derby with the Ospreys looms.

The Blues went into the encounter on the back of four consecutive victories – their best ever start to a season – but their 100 percent run came to an end at Cardiff Arms Park.

They led 13-3 at half-time thanks to Gareth Anscombe, who racked up a converted try and a pair of penalties but Leinster fought back in the second half.

Johnny Sexton kept his side in touch and Rhys Ruddock scored a crucial try. And while a succession of decisions went against the home side, they were unable to make the most of a number of opportunities they created to snatch the win.

Wales' Capital Region now return to action with a trip to the Liberty Stadium on Friday and Wilson has implored his side to bounce back.

"We will learn from it, we will have blips along the way and the important thing is how we bounce back from them," he told the Cardiff Blues' official website. 

"We've picked up our first loss of the season and we will deal with that. If you had offered me four wins from five I would have taken that, we're still in a good place.

"But it's a bitter pill to swallow. We were extremely competitive and we created enough opportunities to win that game and didn't finish, which is something we need look at.

"Certainly a number of decisions went against us but we have to take that away and not be reliant on that by finishing some of the chances we created.

"There were a couple of soft points their way as well. We are still where we need to be in terms of performance, there's still plenty of hunger and passion but ultimately it came down tour lack of finishing ability.

"The players they stuck in there to the end. It wasn't about our effort it was about us not being as clinical as we have been to put enough points on the board against a very good defence.

"Some of our deep, inside the opposition 22, attack wasn't structured quite well enough and was a little bit scrappy and easy for them to defend. 

"The boys were disappointed, frustrated at a number of things but there were a lot of positive messages that on another day we win that game. 

"We're talking about a lot of missed opportunities that led to a very narrow loss to Leinster." 

Cardiff Blues also lost four players to injury in the first half – George Earle to an ankle injury and Sam Warburton, Matthew Morgan and Taufa'ao Filise all to head knocks.

Wilson admits it was a telling blow and while he did not have players left to bring on in the closing stages, he was happy with the impact they made earlier than planned.

"Ultimately, with the amount of injuries we had in the first half, they had a bench to come on and we didn't. Our bench was depleted early in the game," he added. 

"By half-time we had lost Matthew Morgan, Fao Filise, George Earle and Sam Warburton. If any team loses four of your best players that early it will have a negative effect. 

"But what was pleasing was Matthew Rees, Rhys Gill especially and Macaulay Cook came off the bench and added to the forward pack. 

"Matthew and Rhys Gill gave us a scrum weapon that could have been the difference but we missed a couple of points off the back of that."

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