The Blues coach Sir John Kirwan has heaped praise on debutant first-five Simon Hickey after his side's thrilling come from behind bonus point win over the Crusaders at Eden Park.
Trailing 17-3 the hosts scored four tries in 13 minutes to storm to a 35-24 victory and record their first win of the Super Rugby season.
Hickey, who scored 15 points, was one of three youngsters to impress Kirwan, alongside wing Tevita Li and lock Patrick Tuipolotu.
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Sir John Kirwan.
The winless Crusaders are sweating on the fitness of All Black captain Richie McCaw after the openside suffered a suspected fractured thumb in the loss.
Meanwhile the Melbourne Rebels opened their Super campaign with a dominant 35-14 win over visiting South African side the Cheetahs.