Connacht head coach Kieran Keane says the manner of the side's Guinness Pro14 defeat to Cardiff Blues on Saturday should be a "salient lesson" for his team.

The Westerners led 15-10 at the Sportsground with less than three minutes left on the clock but lost 17-15 after Willis Halaholo touched down and Jarrod Evans kicked a match-winning conversion.

"It was pretty hard to handle," Keane told RTÉ Sport. 

"I think the boys might have thought they had won the game. That's probably a salient lesson to them.

"We try to coach them and prepare them for this sort of thing but sometimes it takes a little bit of time to get the message across."

Keane, who only arrived in Galway last month after finishing his assistant coach contract with the Chiefs, added that he felt the side were making progress but that results were the bottom line.

"We've improved a little bit, as a group around our knowledge with what we're trying to do," he said.

"I'm pleased with the way we responded to a couple of things. There's a little bit of upside.

"But you're only measured by a win or a loss. It didn't stack up and we lost today in the last minutes. That's life."