Corey Domachowski is determined to make the most out of the opportunities handed to him, ahead of this weekend's Anglo-Welsh Cup clash against Leicester Tigers at Welford Road.
The young prop was part of the Cardiff Blues Premiership Select side that suffered a heavy defeat to a strong Bristol team on Friday, in the final British and Irish Cup clash of the campaign.
Bristol named a side containing 10 internationals for the clash, while 21-year-old Domachowski and his fellow front-row players, Ethan Lewis and Keiron Assiratti, were amongst the most experienced players in the visitors’ side.
The former Wales Under 20’s prop admits it was a tough test at Ashton Gate but insists on staying positive and believes the never-die attitude shown by the players was something to be proud of.
“We expected to face tough opposition, especially with the team Bristol had out there, and we also had a lot of youngsters playing,” said Domachowski.
“I don’t know what the average age was, but it’s got to be early-20’s if not a bit younger.
“It was an opportunity for us to gout there and play some rugby but unfortunately the scoreline wasn’t on our side.
“There was a lot of intensity throughout the game. They played a lot of quick ball and their backline was very threatening and they did us on the outside.
“All credit to the boys, we dug in for the full 80-minutes but the considering the names they had out there, it was always going to be a tough game.
“You had likes of Chris Vui, Ian Madigan, Jack Lam, Jordan Williams, Rhodri Williams - I could keep going on here. They were clinical in parts of the game, scoring tries when we couldn’t, and that’s what it comes down to in the end.”
Domachowski’s only previous experience of playing at Ashton Gate was during Wales Under-20’s 42-16 demolition of England in the 2016 Six Nations, as they clinched the Triple Crown on their way to a Grand Slam.
The prop believes his side fronted up well in the set piece on Friday, and believes it’s important to look at the positives in order to develop as a player.
Domachowski said: “The scoreline is tough, but we’ll take the positives out of this game and move forward.
“I had a good time at Ashton Gate last time, when we beat England with the under-20’s by 42-16 to win the Triple Crown on our way to the Grand Slam.
“The boys definitely did enjoy themselves with the experience tonight, despite the score.
“It’s all about keep working hard and try to take positives out of the game. I’ll go back now to reflect on the game and see how I can personally better my game.
“The main goal for today personally was trying to get a dominant set-piece and a good platform for the backs to play from. We won a few penalties at the scrum and potentially could’ve had a few more had the ball stayed in the scrum a bit longer, but that’s how it goes.”