Kristian Dacey insists Cardiff Blues must get their discipline in order following the Guinness PRO14 defeat to Munster on Monday.
Following the late withdrawal of Lloyd Williams, who linked up with the Wales squad, the hooker skippered his side at Thomond Park as he returned to the starting line-up for the first time since August.
Dacey was pleased to see his side’s attacking instincts in Limerick and believes there’s no reason to hit the panic button as they prepare to take on Ulster at Rodney Parade next weekend.
“The biggest thing for us, especially over the last two games, and what’s been so positive has been our defence and discipline,” said the Welsh international.
“But at times, we gave Munster easy outs, especially in our own half. We put ourselves under pressure, and there are a lot of learnings from the game.
“It’s something we can look at now as we go forward and hopefully put those wrongs right against Ulster.
“What we said heading into the game was that we wanted to be clinical with ball in hand. That’s something we maybe lacked over the last couple of weeks.
“And we showed that attacking prowess we have but let ourselves down a bit in defence and especially with discipline.
“I found out I’d be captain yesterday morning, just before the team run. It’s something I’ve done in the past and I’m happy to put my hand up to lead the boys.
“I was hoping we could come out here and get the ‘w’ but it’s a learning for us and something we’ll get better from.
“Those first two games really put us in a good place. This is a little blip in the road but it’s something we, as a team, can overcome.
“I think it’s discipline we need to work on most. We gave them some easy points and against a side like Munster you can’t afford to do that.
“I’m sure we’ll have some harsh meetings this week and go over what went wrong. We have to put hands up that we made some errors but it’s important we learn from them.”
After a try scoring cameo from the bench against Connacht, the hooker made his first start of the season against Munster as he looks to build a run of games after spending a large portion of the 2019/20 season on the sidelines.
With a total of 17 players unavailable due to international call-ups or injury, Dacey was also pleased to see a number of more inexperienced players stepping up and he feels they will benefit from the minutes at Limerick.
“We had some good boys out there, who put their hands up for selection next week, and as I said, it’s a learning curve and something we can build on going forward,” added the hooker.
“I thought Ben Murphy, on his first start, really put his hand up and these are boys who will learn a lot from the experience of playing out here.
“It’s never an easy place to come and it’s a baptism of fire. Hopefully there’s boys out there who can keep their heads held high and take confidence out of it, going into next week.
“For myself, it’s about getting that game time under my belt now. I’ve struggled to put a run of games together over the last three or four seasons.
“It’s nice to be back out on the pitch and more importantly walking off it. Hopefully I can build on a few performances and get back to where I know I can be as a player and where the coaches want me to be.
“It’s a building block for myself, personally, and hopefully as the season goes on it just keeps getting better.”