Danny Wilson was pleased with the way Cardiff Blues fought back following a disappointing start at Rodney Parade.
Wales’ Capital Region were blown away in the opening quarter of their first pre-season friendly and made to pay as Newport Gwent Dragons bagged four tries in half an hour.
The Blues trailed 21-7 at the break but were much improved in the second half and responded with tries from Steve Shingler, Josh Navidi and Dan Fish.
Wilson said: “It wasn’t a great start to the game, during the first 20-25 minutes we were blown away and we lacked an attitude.
“We picked it up a little bit - we lost the first half 31-7 and won the second half 21-7. In the second-half we had 75 per cent territory, it was all us and we could have nipped over for a couple more.
“I was pleased with the second-half and pleased with the boys that came on. This game was all about looking at the squad, we left 16 boys, who trained this morning, back at the Blues and most of them are top end players
“I’m pleased with a lot of individual performances, I’m not happy with the first 20 minutes, with the players we had out there I expected a bit more but I’m glad with the way we came back.”
One of those to shine individually was fly-half Shingler, who entered the fray for the second half.
Making his debut for the region, Shingler pulled the strings with aplomb, scored a try and created one for Fish with the final play.
Wilson added: “I was very impressed with Steve Shingler, I thought he had an outstanding second half and showed the qualities he has.”
Cardiff Blues face Bristol in their final pre-season friendly on August 20, and Wilson revealed he will play an entirely different starting line-up.
The aim for pre-season is to give every player game-time with the sole focus on the Guinness PRO12 opener against Edinburgh on September 3.
He added: “We will have a completely different 15 starting that game, it will be great for us to take a look at the likes of Nick Williams , George Earle and Kirby Myhill, plus some of the internationals like Alex Cuthbert, who is fit and ready to play.
“Between the two performances we will have a good look, a week’s training with some contact work and then a weekend with no game ahead of a long run of matches.
“We have two good hit outs, some contact work and then into a marathon season.”