Cardiff boss Dai Young pulled no punches in his assessment of his side’s performance against Benetton as they suffered a 69-21 loss in Treviso.
Benetton came firing out of the blocks in their last game of the season against Cardiff, as they stormed out into a 31-0 lead after just half an hour.
The visitors got themselves back into the game thanks to two tries either side of half time, but their resistance was short lived as the Italians regained their composure, and scored four tries in the space of 10 minutes near the end of the game.
Dai Young was speaking after Cardiff’s 48-point loss and stressed that the performance isn’t representative of what he and his fellow coaches do with the players during training.
Dai Young reacts to Cardiff’s 48-point loss.
“Disappointment is probably not a strong enough word really. I just thought we looked a team that were running on empty, both physically and mentally,” Young said.
“We were slow in everything we did tonight, in speed and thought, and physically we just weren’t at the races… Once they got their noses in front it didn’t look like we were ever going to turn it around.
“They [the players] are hugely disappointed, like all of us. I’m feeling for the coaches. The coaches have put a lot of work in and one thing I can tell you, we haven’t coached the players to go out and play like that.
“They’re really hurting, the players are hurting because they feel they’ve let themselves, the jersey, the supporters down. It’s a really quiet changing room.
“How do you tell if they’re really hurting? We’ll find out next season when they come out and they’ve got to use that as fuel to get better.”
🗣 “If that doesn’t hurt us then we don’t want to be here next year, it’s as simple as that. Unfortunately we’ve now got a long wait until we can put things right.”
Dai Young gives a brutally honest assessment of tonight’s disappointing defeat to Benetton. pic.twitter.com/nbI9KHuxyW
— Cardiff Rugby (@Cardiff_Rugby) May 20, 2022
A dire season comes to an end for the Welsh capital.
Things certainly haven’t been straight forward for Cardiff this season, as the fixtures piled up in the last few months after several games were postponed for Covid-related reasons.
Cardiff’s squad became stranded out in South Africa for some time in November and December after the outbreak of the Omicron variant in the country, after which they had to quarantine for 10 days on their return to the UK.
While there has been significant challenges for Cardiff to overcome this season, there can be no excuse for Friday’s abject performance, which sees the Welsh capital finish in 14th place in the URC.