Llanelli's Head of Rugby Anthony Buchanan was proud with his sides performance in defeat to Neath in Saturday's SWALEC Cup Final.<b>
The Parc y Scarlets club fell to a 27-21 defeat at the Millennium Stadium, ending the season as both losing cup finalists and league nearly men, finishing fourth in the table after topping the table at one point.
But Buchanan refuses to accept talk of it being a disappointing season, instead insisting that things can only get better for his young charges. He said: "I wouldn't say it's been a season of near misses, rather one showing us all the start of things to come.
"I wanted to challenge at the top end of Welsh rugby this year, and I feel we are getting pretty close to doing that."
The Llanelli boss conceded errors made by his side ultimately cost them the match.
"We played a huge amount of attacking rugby early on and didn't take advantage of what we created," said Buchanan. "But that is cup rugby, we have to learn from our mistakes but to be fair we are a pretty honest side and being so young we are bound to make mistakes from time to time.
"Neath are a good side and should be congratulated on their win, but we contributed a large amount to what was a very exciting game.
"I feel we can hold our heads high and say we contributed to a cracking game of rugby."
Now, all eyes are on whether Buchanan's youngsters can grow up into a trophy winning side next year. "It would have been nice to win the Swalec Cup today, but it wasn't to be and now next season cannot come quick enough," he added.
"We want to be competitive next year, and although we must not get ahead of ourselves I want us to be up there with the best of them.
"It is all about taking things forward and channelling ourselves. We have a group of younger players who I know will be coming on even stronger next season."
Principality Stadium will host the UEFA Champions League Final in six weeks' time. WRU chairman Gareth Davies, Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford and Ambassador Ian Rush joined young sports fans at the trophy arrival at the venue to celebrate the magnitude of the event on Saturday 3rd June (kick-off 19.45).
British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton is looking forward to bringing together players from Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales for the biggest challenge of their careers - a series against world champions, New Zealand.
For the fifth year running, Wales referee Nigel Owens will be in charge of proceedings at Judgement Day V at Principality Stadium. It promises to be 'extra special' for the Wales' favourite ref, as he will be making his 150th appearance in the league.
There will be no shortage of inside knowledge from Bowl Finalists Caerphilly and Amman United when they face each other on Sunday at National Finals Day. Caerphilly hooker Rhys Cleverly knows the Principality Stadium pitch better than most as a matchday groundsman, while Amman United can look to Wales' record try scorer Shane Williams for some helpful advice.
Two hundred and 40 teams competed in the inaugural Urdd WRU 7s held at Pencoed last week with Welsh internationals Steff Andrews and Jasmine Joyce impressed with the talent on display, as was Urdd chief executive, Sioned Hughes.
The countdown is on for Judgement Day V as tickets for the big day at Principality Stadium soar through the 50,000 mark. Players and coaches alike are bursting at the seams to play in the double header with Dragons coach Kingsley Jones claiming there is a 'real buzz' about the event.
WRU TV went behind the scenes when the four regions got together to test their skill set for the BBC's Scrum V Live rugby show, at the WRU National Centre of Excellene in the build up to Judgement Day V. Blues' Matthew Morgan was one of the stars of the show while the Dragons' Cory Hill proved a surprise package...the full set of results will be revealed on tv screens on matchday
Wales assistant coach Richie Pugh is confident his side can cause a few headaches in the Hong Kong Sevens this weekend. In a tough group, Wales kick off their campaign against New Zealand on Friday before playing Japan and Fiji, who are chasing their third consecutive Hong Kong title, on Saturday.
Bedwas had to overcome a stubborn Carmarthen Quins side before winning the Foster's Challenge Cup final in Bridgend with a 23-18 victory. Bedwas captain Nicky Griffiths pays tribute to his side who have claimed the club's first piece of silverware in the modern era.
Team coach Brett Davey is aiming to keep his unbeaten run in cup finals at Principality Stadium intact when his side take on Amman United in the WRU Bowl final, after he guided Caerphilly to a 20-14 win against Cilfynydd in the semi-finals.
Penallta are hoping to go one step further than last season when falling to Bedlinog in the WRU Plate Final. After a titanic struggle against Nant Conwy, they have given themselves a great chance, after a hard fought 18-13 semi-final victory.