It's not often you come from 17 points down and look back with regrets on securing a draw, but after 19 wins in a row, Leo Cullen was left wondering what might have been.
The Leinster head coach admitted to "mixed feelings" at his side's 22-22 draw with the Stormers at the RDS, even though the result ultimately guaranteed the province the top seed for the BKT United Rugby Championship play-offs.
In a thoroughly enjoyable game Leinster came from 17-0 down to lead 22-17 after 60 minutes, before allowing the tourists back into the tie with a Clayton Blommetjies try with 10 minutes remaining.
The hosts could even have won it in the final minutes, but Harry Byrne's penalty attempt clipped the posts and went wide, ensuring a draw, which Cullen admitted was probably the fair result.
"It had a bit of everything really, didn't it?," the Leinster coach said.
"After going into the lead, 22-17, a bit disappointed that we don't quite kick on, but again the Stormers are a very good team, stacked with a lot of experience so they were always going to come back in some form.
"It's a mixed feeling, overall. It's great that we win the game three points to two, but it's a draw ultimately. It's a bit of a mixed feeling, but we got the job done to make sure we finish top of the log, and that's very satisfying, because a lot of work goes in over the course of a season."
While the draw ends their 100% record, it does ensure they can travel to South Africa for their final two regular season games safe in the knowledge that they can't be caught by the Stormers for top spot.
Their 13-point lead at the top guarantees them home advantage for the quarter-final, as well as the semi and final should they get there, and Cullen says it's vital in allowing them manage their squad in the coming weeks.
"That's the thing, we finished top spot last year and lost five games, so with two games to we're still undefeated in the league, it's a really good squad effort.
"In terms of South Africa, it will be a great experience, whoever goes down there, it always is. But it allows us to manage things to a certain degree."
On a night with dreadful weather conditions, the league top two sides played out a brilliant game of rugby, with the Stormers having travelled to Dublin fully loaded with Springbok talent, including future Ulster prop Steven Kitshoff, and South Africa internationals Frans Malherbe, Joseph Dweba, Marvin Orie and Damian Willemse.
Granted, Leinster were without their frontline internationals, but Stormers head coach John Dobson [below] was full of praise for how both sides approached the contest.
"It looked like a Test match," he said.
"I spoke to Kitsy [Steven Kitshoff] afterwards, and he said it felt like a Test match; the intensity, the competition in every breakdown, the quality of hits from both sides.
"From our side, it was a superb game of rugby.
"We probably should have lost it, but we showed the character the Stormers are known for to come back from 22-17 and get the draw. It's well done to our chaps because we were on the ropes."
Cullen agreed with his opposite number, remarking that it was the kind of game the tournament was promised when the South African sides arrived last season.
"Both teams scrambled incredibly well, and it was good to see two proper teams go at it. Conditions made life difficult, but it was a very exciting game and had a bit of everything.
"It was a really good advert for the competition overall."
Watch Wales v Ireland in the TikTok Women's Six Nations on Saturday from 2.15pm live on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player, follow a live blog on RTÉ.ie/Sport and the RTÉ News app and listen to live commentary on RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday Sport
Watch Munster v Glasgow (5.15pm) and Ulster v Vodacom Bulls (7.35pm) in the BKT United Rugby Championship on Saturday live on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player