Danny Wilson has hailed the "outstanding" Willis Halaholo following his man-of-the-match try-scoring performance against Benetton Treviso.
Halaholo was one of two debutant to cross the whitewash in the hard-fought victory at Stadio di Monigo – Wales Under-20s star Rhun Williams the other.
The Super Rugby winner created another try for Macauley Cook and Wilson was full of praise for the duo making their first appearance for the region.
He said: “Both really showed what they are capable of. A young lad in Rhun, we’ve seen bits and pieces of him and it’s nice he’s now got to this stage where he’s had his first game for Cardiff Blues and a good one.
“We got our first look at Willis and I thought he was outstanding, his footwork is phenomenal and that’s on quite a heavy pitch – imagine what he could do on our pitch.
"I'm really pleased with the performance. Some of our attacking rugby was outstanding. We said all week it's a big night if you can get a win out here.”
The victory, Cardiff Blues first in Treviso in four years brought an end to a three-match losing streak in the Guinness PRO12.
Following last week’s disappointing derby defeat to the Scarlets, Wilson called for a response and he was pleased with the spirit shown in the scrappy triumph.
He said: “It was important that we bounced back from last week (Scarlets) in the same vein as we did from a poor performance against Ospreys to beat Bristol the next week.
“To do that away from home at a venue where we have not won for four years is a cracking win and credit to the boys.
“They showed outstanding spirit, at times in that game we were certainly up against it, we conceded too many soft tries, which we need to have a look at but to show the fight, the hunger to get that away win and not cave was outstanding.”
Despite a positive start in northern Italy, the Blues found themselves behind at half-time following three soft Treviso tries.
Wilson urged his side to hold onto possession more but the Italians wrapped up the bonus-point soon after the restart. However Wales’ Capital Region battled back to put their season back on track.
He added: “We were quite happy with what we were doing with the ball. We were causing them a number of problems but wanted to keep the ball and build phases longer, we kicked a little bit early. We talked a lot about our defence because we conceded a couple of soft tries.
"With a number of combinations and without a few internationals I thought we really showed a fighting spirit to go and win the game.
"I thought [Sam Warburton's] performance, considering he'd been out for a few weeks, was top-drawer.
"He went out there and really delivered, led the side well when Matthew [Rees] went off, and I'm sure he'll be back in a Welsh shirt very soon."