Cardiff Blues coach David Young admitted he could not have asked for a better start to the Heineken Cup after his team's 56-20 win away to Calvisano, their biggest ever win in Europe.
The Welsh region scored eight tries, including six in the second half, as they put the Italian champions to the sword at Centro Sportivo San Michele for a bonus-point victory.
Young said: “I couldn’t really have asked for more and I would certainly have settled for that before coming out here.
“It was a game we had to win and we also targeted a bonus point, so I’m delighted that we’ve done both.
“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Calvisano were always going to be tough, especially up front, and they would try to slow the game down. But I was always confident that we had the quality to control the pace of the game and score tries.”
Cardiff led 15-3 following Ma’ama Molitika’s early score and a penalty try but were twice reduced to 14 men as Deiniol Jones and Jamie Robinson were shown yellow cards for dangerous tackles.
Calvisano number eight Justin Purll reduced the lead to 18-13 at half-time before Cardiff ran out comfortable winners as Jason Spice, Tom Shanklin, Nick Robinson, Ben Blair, Leigh Halfpenny and Gareth Thomas all scored.
Young said: “The first half was tight. We wasted a few half-chances early on and lost our way a bit before half-time, trying to play too much rugby in the wrong parts of the field.
“But we recovered and controlled the second half and scored some great tries. I was also pleased we didn’t concede a late try when they finished the game so close to our line. This pool is going to be very tough and potentially every point could count, so we didn’t want to give away any soft tries at the end.”
Calvisano captain Leonardo Ghiraldini scored a consolation try but coach Marc Delpoux said: “Cardiff were bigger, stronger, have better organisation, players, structure and more money so what we saw here was the picture of that difference.
“I was happy with the effort in the first half but then we collapsed because we are still not ready to compete at this level for 80 minutes.”