Scarlets coach Glenn Delaney was left wondering what might have been after his side blew two great chances in the final 15 minutes to notch a first win in Toulon.
The Welsh region followed the Dragons in bowing out at the quarter-final stages of the European Challenge Cup as they were beaten 11-6, but it could have been different.
Wing Steff Evans lost out in a foot race with opposite number Gabin Villiere as he was hauled down five metres short after a sprint from halfway and then replacement centre Tyler Morgan knocked on as he was being driven over from a close-range line-out.
Delaney pledged his side would be “six points better” next time they go to Stade Felix Mayol, although said he could not fault the effort put in by his players.
“I’m immensely proud of the effort, but as a group we’re disappointed. We spoke after the game about key moments at the end when we had an opportunity,” he said.
“We had a couple and we have to take them. We’ll be honest about it, but I can’t fault the effort – it was huge.
“It was an immense effort and tactically I thought we were playing the game well. We knew it would come down to one chance and we would have to make sure we were good enough, but sadly we just didn’t quite nail it.
“When you’re playing in big games against outstanding teams, it comes down to fine margins. We got close but we’ll be critical about it.
“We want to make sure the next time we come here, we’re six points better than we were tonight.”
Toulon were allowed 5,000 fans in the stadium and there were even a few Scarlets supporters watching them for the first time since lockdown. That was at least something to cheer for Delaney.
“It was brilliant to be in front of people and what a brilliant place to be. I thought the fans were magnificent,” he added.
“I think they were really enjoying the rugby and we had a couple of ours in as well, which was great to see.
“It’s just nice to be in a stadium with people and hopefully we’ll get that chance again.
“For now, though, we’ll lick our wounds, get tight together as a group, and try and map out the next campaign, which we hope will be a big one.
“There has been a lot of change over this European campaign. I keep saying it, but the world is a different place now.”
Wales coach Wayne Pivac was handed two injury concerns ahead of the upcoming internationals in the autumn.
Leigh Halfpenny was forced to take a second-half HIA after being knocked over in a tackle, while Johnny McNicholl had to be helped off the field after badly twisting his right ankle.
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