Matthew Morgan was delighted to kick-off his Cardiff Blues career with a hard fought victory over his former club Bristol.
The diminutive play-maker made the move west along the M4 in the summer and made his first appearance for Wales’ Capital Region at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park yesterday.
He started at fullback as the Blues finished their pre-season preparations on a positive and admits it was surreal to face his former team, who are also in the same European Challenge Cup pool.
Morgan said: “I was happy to have a run out, opening the lungs up and get the legs going. It’s good to be back out there. Obviously after training for a couple weeks you want to play.
“The preparations have gone really well, I’ve really enjoyed it. The team has done well, especially with the new attack coach coming in, the boys have been keen to listen and take what he has to say on board.
“I know most of the boys anyway, so the welcome has been great, and it’s good to go out there to play with them.
“It was a bit strange to see the fixture today, and we’ve got them in Europe as well. Playing against them I knew most of the moves. But they’re good boys, and it was good to face them.”
Danny Wilson’s side led 12-10 at half-time thanks to tries from Tom James and Steve Shingler.
But Bristol went ahead after Tom Varndell completed his brace in the second-half. It appeared ominous for the Blues as conditions continued to deteriorate but they continued to battle.
An Aled Summerhill try saw them draw level and Jarrod Evans calmly slotted a penalty to take the lead.
Blaine Scully touched down to secure the victory before Bristol claimed a late consolation to cut the final deficit to one point.
The Blues return to action in two’s weeks when they host Edinburgh in the first fixture of their Guinness PRO12 season and Morgan is counting down the days.
He added: “It was difficult out there, but I felt we managed the conditions quite well, and the plan we had really suited us. It was good to come out on top.
“They didn’t give up, and our defence did really well, but they scored some good tries. Varndell is pretty fast, he can shift.”
“Hopefully we can gel as a backline now. The vibes are good in the camp.
“As long as we train and play well, and don’t go ahead of ourselves, it should all go to plan and get the season running.
“There are good quality players around, and strength in depth, and hopefully we can all push each other and get the best out of each other.”