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."
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All roads lead to Cardiff on Sunday for the SSE SWALEC Finals Day at the Millennium Stadium. Cambrian Welfare tackle Ystradgynlais in the Bowl final, Ystrad Rhondda play Newcastle Emlyn in the Plate final while defending champions Pontypridd face Bridgend in the Cup final.
WRU Chief Executive Roger Lewis, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Ken Skates and WRU Chairman Gareth Davies earlier this week launched a new competition in conjunction with the WRU unveiling its archive room.
Welsh players and management joined Deputy Minister for Sport Ken Skates at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay earlier this week to reveal the Union's pioneering school-club hub initiative has been so successful the project will now almost double the scale of the original project.
The Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys look ahead to Judgement Day III which sees the Blues take on the Ospreys (2.30) and the Dragons tackle the Scarlets (4.45pm) at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Ystradgynlais and Ynysddu played out a titanic struggle at Taffs Well in the SSE SWALEC Bowl semi-final. At the end of the game neither team could be separated after a 15-15 stalemate but Ystradgynlais go through on try count.
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Wales Under 18 captain Calum Haggett has received a conditional offer to read Biomedical Science at St Anne's College, Oxford. WRU chairman Gareth Davies went to meet Calum and Coleg y Cymoedd Principal Judith Evans to wish him luck in his exams and pass on some of his personal experience.