Sam Warburton was delighted to play his part as Cardiff Blues put their Guinness PRO12 season back on track with a hard-fought victory over Benetton Treviso.
Wales’ Capital Region had won their last three Championship encounters and had not won in Treviso in four years.
But Warburton played a full 80 minutes, in his first appearance since suffering a fractured cheekbone, as the Blues battled back for a much-needed win.
Warburton said: “That’s a huge win for the Blues. We had lost our last three league games and if we had lost again it would have been played eight, won four, lost four and we would start slipping down the table.
“It was a good run out. I’m really glad I got 80 minutes under my belt, I haven’t played in five weeks so it was good to get some bumps and bangs and to have a good go at the breakdown area
“But more importantly I was delighted I managed to come back to the Blues to help us get a win, which was massively important and puts our PRO12 season back on track.”
Despite a promising start, the Blues shipped three tries in the first-half and Treviso wrapped up the bonus-point shortly after the restart.
However they dominated much of the second-half as they held on to possession and raised the tempo. The pressure told with Macauley Cook and Willis Halaholo crossing for tries.
Warburton continued: “We just needed to keep the ball. In the first half we gave away the ball cheaply, there were a few turnovers, offloads that weren’t really on and our defence was a bit sloppy – we missed a few one on one tackles.
“We tightened up our defence, kept the ball and played at tempo and that worked for us in the second-half.
“We came out to Italy with a target of winning, which has been very tough for us in the past but we have been to Zebre and Treviso this year and won both which is fantastic. I’m delighted we have come to Italy and got the win.”