Gavin Henson admitted "the league table doesn't lie" as Wales began reflecting on a disappointing fourth-place finish in this season's RBS 6 Nations championship.
Their nerve-shredding 17-15 home defeat against new Grand Slam champions Ireland concluded a campaign when Wales never quite delivered.
And with both England and France recording comfortable final weekend wins, Wales slipped to fourth on points difference.
"The league table doesn't lie," said Ospreys star Henson, whose record of winning every championship Test he has started came to an end after 11 straight victories.
"We have finished fourth, and that is where we are at the moment. I don't think our game is quite right, but we were close. We could have had it.
"Fourth is exactly where we are. I don't think our game is right at all. We will learn a lot from this campaign and we will definitely be a better a team for it.
"It's a little bit concerning we didn't score a try. We created a couple of chances, but not cutting-edge chances.
"Maybe we need to stop worrying about the opposition as much as we do and concentrate on ourselves a bit more.
"I think teams have been a little bit negative when they've played us, and tried to stop us from playing, so we have got to counteract that from now on.
"We are a bit down. It was a hell of a game, and it just didn't go our way. Fair play to Ireland, they probably deserved it."
Wales were undone by an Irish try burst of two in four second-half minutes as skipper Brian O'Driscoll and wing Tommy Bowe wiped out a 6-0 interval deficit.
And although a gripping climax saw rival fly-halves Stephen Jones and Ronan O'Gara exchange drop-goals before Jones' final penalty strike drifted narrowly wide, Wales were effectively undone during the third quarter.
"We conceded a lot of points at the start of the second half," added Henson.
"But we did well to come back and get back into the lead. It was Ireland's day though, and we have to get on with it.
"Stephen wanted to take that last kick straight away - it was definitely Steve's kick.
"I took one a bit earlier and didn't catch it at all, and I had a bit of a tight back as well, so I didn't fancy that last one, to be honest."
For Henson, it was another successful game on the comeback trail during an injury-ravaged season, although he played most of the match at full-back after Lee Byrne went off in the first half with a foot injury.
Byrne will undergo a scan tomorrow and could be out for up to four weeks, meaning he faces a fitness race for the Ospreys' Heineken Cup clash against Munster.
The Neath-Swansea side face an EDF Energy Cup semi-final clash against Gloucester next Saturday, before tackling many of Ireland's Grand Slam heroes in a Heineken Cup quarter-final appointment on April 12.
"There is one game in particular, which is Munster away, so there will be a bit of revenge there, hopefully," said Henson.
"I am just happy I am not injured. I think there is a lot more to come from me - I just need to get the game-time."
England Under-18 head coach John Fletcher insists his young side will be better for the experience after beating Italy in the bronze final to round out their 2015 Rugby Europe U18 Championship campaign in style.