Boss Mark Hammett praised the way Rhys Patchell controlled the game as the fly half helped steer Cardiff Blues to an opening weekend win in Zebre.
Patchell opened the scoring at Stadio XV Aprile and finished with 21 points – including a monster 56-metre first half penalty – to take the man-of-the-match award in the Guinness PRO12 fixture.
And Hammer was encouraged by the young backs performance on day one of the new season.
He said: “Patch produced some magic in the early stages, some real talent and X-Factor early in the first half that got us into the lead.
“But what I was more pleased with was as the game went on he started controlling it and that was great to see.
“Obviously it’s nice to see him kick goals and score tries, but I think for Patch to go forward and move on we want to see him become a real vocal leader and drive the team around. It was a good start from him.”
Hammer also highlighted the performance of back row Sam Warburton who was inspirational throughout despite not always being rewarded for his breakdown work.
“Warby was good, but obviously I need to get used to the officials,” said Hammer.
“I thought maybe we might have got four or five penalties out of Warby, but we struggled to get one. But I thought he went really well and the whole team can be pleased with the commitment today.”