Cardiff Blues director of rugby Phil Davies praised his team after they broke their Heineken Cup duck with a 26-14 win over Sale.
The Welsh region had lost their first five matches in Pool Six, but ended their European campaign on a winning note thanks to tries from man of the match Lloyd Williams and replacement Michael Paterson, as well as 16 points from full-back Leigh Halfpenny.
"It was very important to get the victory," Davies said.
"It's not very pleasant losing six games in the Heineken, I can tell you.
"That was good today. We got the result and we haven't finished bottom of the table, which is just reward for all the hard work we've put in.
"We've played some good rugby during the first five games and not had many rewards for it. That was a pleasing way to finish."
The Blues trailed for much of the first half and again shortly after the break, having led 9-7 at the interval, but they pulled clear in the end.
"I felt we played some good rugby in the first half, but we did not quite get that last pass away to score," Davies said.
"We said at half-time if we continued playing with a bit of patience we could break them.
"The second half started poorly for us, but we had a defensive set where we held them out for eight minutes and we went down the other end and scored a try and then sealed it with another score.
"I was quite pleased with the perseverance and commitment of the players."
Sale scored tries through front-row forwards Tommy Taylor and Aston Croall, but it was the disallowing of a first-half effort from centre Mark Jennings that upset head coach Bryan Redpath.
With no video referee on duty due to the game not being televised live, Irish referee Peter Fitzgibbon ruled out the score because of a knock-on after consulting his touchjudge.
"I thought the referee disallowed a perfectly good try," Redpath said.
As for the absence of a video official, he commented: "Sadly it's where we are in the competition."
Reflecting on the game as a whole, Redpath said: "We had our opportunities. We had loads and loads of pressure and the chances to win.
"But there were a couple of defensive errors we lapsed on and gifted 12 to 15 points for them."
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