Macauley Cook has expressed his delight with Cardiff Blues' home victory over Bristol, in the final pre-season fixture of the summer.
The utility forward was instrumental in the victory, setting up Blaine Scully for the match-winning try.
Cook was the only player to start in both pre-season fixtures, featuring in last week’s defeat to the Newport Gwent Dragons, and has been delighted with his game-time and preparations.
He said: “We’re happy with the result, but there are still areas we can work on.
“We concentrated on starting the game better than we did last week against the Dragons. The first 20 minutes was excellent. There were things to improve on during that second half, but overall the performance and result was great.
“I’ve worked hard over the summer to put a bit of weight on, so I’m struggling a bit now! I felt much better this week, almost getting 80 minutes under my belt so I’m really happy.”
The match featured four debutants for the home side, including Number 8 Nick Williams, who was awarded Domino’s Fans’ Man of the Match.
And Cook, who is three appearances short of his Cardiff Blues century, is excited about what likes ahead and reckons the summer’s recruits have bolstered the squad immensely.
“We’ve made some excellent signings over the summer, and it was good to see them all playing well. The new boys have added a lot to the team, and we’re looking forward to seeing what they can do once the league kicks off.”
Cardiff Blues’ Guinness PRO12 campaign kicks off in two weeks time, when Edinburgh are welcomed to the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park, and Cook insists it’s vital to start the season with a home win, in order to progress from last season’s league standings.
Wales’ Capital Region lost their first five away matches in last season’s league campaign and were made to pay for that slow start as they agonisingly missed out on a place in the top six.
Cook added: “We hope to improve on our league position from last season and climb that table.
“We are ready for that first game against Edinburgh. We have a week of training now, before having next weekend off, and we’ll be fresh for that first game.
“We’re looking forward to the game, it’s an important game for us to start with a win at home.”