Scarlets boss Nigel Davies believes his side still have a bright future despite admitting they were ‘second best’ after their Amlin Challenge Cup campaign came to a premature end in Toulon on Saturday night.
The 2007 Heineken Cup semi-finalists were outscored five tries to nil at the Stade Felix-Mayol and Davies was typically honest in his assessment of his side’s performance.
“All in all, we were second best and they were a far better team than us,” said Davies, after Toulon surged into the last four thanks to a 38-12 triumph.
“I do feel that we didn’t do ourselves justice out there. Having said that, we played against a very good team. They put a lot of pressure on us and were very physical.
“There were a number of penalties that we gave away in key moments that let them build their game and, with someone like Jonny Wilkinson at No10, you just can’t afford to do that.
“We realised that coming here would be a very difficult task. We prepared well but it was just beyond us.”
Despite being bitterly disappointing with the outcome in the Cote D’Azur, Davies remains upbeat about the future of the Scarlets in European and domestic competition.
The region has been blooding plenty of young talent over the past couple of seasons and Davies believes they will ultimately benefit from their continental experiences, even if they would have preferred to be celebrating a famous victory.
“The experience will be good for the young players who played today,” added Davies.
“We’re not a complete team yet. We’ve got a lot of young boys who are learning and growing but at this moment in time we’re in a position to compete with the likes of Toulon.
“We can dwell on this game, or we can decide to move forward. We can’t hide from it. We can’t run away. We are where we are and we have to move forward.
“The supporters have always supported us in thick and thin and I do think that part of the reason why there were so many of them here is that they are starting to understand what we’re trying to do as a region. They’re seeing a lot of young players coming through – a lot of young talent.
“The fans will be hugely disappointed, like we are, that we didn’t perform to higher levels today but I think that, if we can continue moving forward with our supporters, then we’ve got a bright future.”