Cory Allen grabs Scarlets centre Jonathan Davies at the Millennium Stadium.
Cory Allen had three very good reasons to wear a broad smile as he left the Millennium Stadium after Judgement Day II.
Firstly, his Cardiff Blues side ended a run of eight successive defeats to the Scarlets and made it three wins in a row in the RaboDirect PRO12. Secondly, his performance in the centre earned him the man of the match award and, finally, he made a successful return to the Millennium Stadium.
The last time the 21-year-old played at the home of Welsh rugby he picked up a shoulder injury against Argentina that kept him sidelined for most of the season. But he proved he is almost as good as new with a commanding performance opposite Wales and British & Irish Lions star Jonathan Davies.
"It was good to be back playing at the Millennium Stadium and great that we were able to make it three wins on the bounce. It was certainly good to get another win," said Allen.
"It was difficult psychologically coming back after shoulder surgery, but it gets easier with every game. Getting a game under my belt at the Millennium Stadium once again was a big boost and I'm now two from two there.
"It was great to be able to play against Jonathan Davies. It always brings out the best in me when I play against the top players in the game.
"I'm pretty fresh at the moment, but I was blowing quite a bit by the end of what was a fast and furious game. I'm still hoping to get a call for the Wales tour to South Africa this summer."
Blues backs coach Paul John was another who was singing the praises of Allen in the wake of his side's 17-13 victory.
"Cory is a very talented and skilful player and it is great to see him back fully fit. His return, with senior players like Matthew Rees, Bradley Davies and Alex Cuthbert has made a huge difference to us," said John.
"They have helped to raise standards in our training and preparation and everyone else has responded to them. That commitment was there for all to see today and we really dug deep for the win.
"It is the first time we've beaten the Scarlets for quite some time and we showed a lot of confidence to hold on. We have a massive game coming up in Connacht in two weeks time and then we have to go to Parc y Scarlets for our final fixture."?
We hear from Dove Men's Player of the Series Dan Biggar in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We also speak to scrum half rivals Rhys Webb and Mike Phillips, the Swansea prop who will be a key player for Oxford in the Varsity Match at Twickenham, Ian Williams, plus John Dawes, John Taylor and Peter Morgan pay tribute to Ray Williams.