Captain Richard Smith hailed the spirit in the Cardiff Blues squad as they battled to the last four of the Premiership 7s Series Finals at a wet and soggy Twickenham Stoop on Friday night.
Cardiff Blues had impressed in the Welsh leg of the tournament at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park two weeks earlier and again dug deep to progress in London.
A brilliant late, late show overcame Leicester Tigers in the quarter-finals before a two-try burst from Dan Fish lit up the semi-final with eventual winners Gloucester before Blues bowed out.
However, Smith was still full of pride for his young team and insisted the future was bright for Blues this season and beyond.
"The boys have done themselves proud," said former Wales Sevens international Smith. "With little preparation we have had, we have got better with every game in this competition.
"To be fair to Gloucester, they are a really good side and good in this tournament. They capitalised on the opportunities we gave them so credit to them.
"The weather was difficult, it becomes a bit of a lottery and it just shows how important possession is. In conditions like that the ball can go anywhere, especially off the restart, and we found that out with their final try.
"There is a great spirit about the Blues this season. Competitions like this show how important the whole squad is," he added.
"The hard work we put in pre-season is paying off and we want to be fitter than other teams."
Blues complete pre-season preparations with a home clash with Exeter Chiefs at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Friday evening (kick-off 7.30pm) before returning to London for the World Clubs 7s at Twickenham on Saturday and Sunday.
And Smith admitted competition for places over the whole weekend would be fierce adding: "It's coming to crunch time. People want to put their hands up for selection and there is a lot of competition in the squad which can only be a good thing. If people get opportunities it is important they start taking them."
Cardiff Blues launch the new Guinness PRO12 season next Sunday when we entertain Zebre Rugby at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park - and to celebrate the big kick-off we are offering a special ticket offer with Kids for a Quid for this fixture!
Rugby World Cup 2015 continues to grip the nation with over half a million local and international fans enjoying the Official Fanzones up and down the country to watch live matches and enjoy the excitement of the Tournament.
Cardiff Blues Rugby Camps will be back next month giving children right across our region the opportunity to participate in rugby during the holidays - and you can book NOW to avoid any disappointment!
Can't get tickets for the Rugby World Cup? Well now you won't have to miss a second of the action alongside passionate fans as we are running two special events so you can watch the big games with Cardiff Blues and in the company of some Welsh rugby legends!
Prop Sam Hobbs scored a dramatic injury time try - for the second successive season in Galway - as battling Cardiff Blues deservedly took home two bonus points from a pulsating Guinness PRO12 fixture with Connacht at The Sportsground.
New-look Cardiff Blues and Newport Gwent Dragons served up an entertaining pre-season encounter as the visitors edged to victory as the countdown to the new Guinness PRO12 season continued at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park.