Ceri Sweeney’s try ten minutes from time allowed Cardiff Blues to come from behind to beat London Wasps 22-17 at the Cardiff Arms Park and kick off their LV= Cup campaign in style.
The Blues had lost their last six games in all competitions but ran in three tries against their Aviva Premiership opponents to fight back for the win.
A try from Elliot Daly, starting at full-back on the night, and 12 points from the boot of Tommy Bell looked to have put the visitors in control, especially when they led 17-10 with an hour gone.
But a stirring response from the Blues with tries from Tom James and Sweeney allowed the home side to take the points.
Wasps director of rugby Dai Young was making his first return to the Arms Park since leaving the region in 2011, with his son Thomas on the bench for the Blues.
The visitors also had former Blues T Rhys Thomas and Lee Thomas in their starting lineup against the 2008 Anglo-Welsh champions.
The home side made the quicker start on a cold and wet night in Wales and took a 7-0 lead through an early Dan Fish try.
The full-back, taking full advantage of the absence of Leigh Halfpenny, was on the end of a Blues attack after just 12 minutes, with fly-half Gareth Davies slotting the ensuing conversion to give the home side the early momentum.
Wasps began to edge their way back into the game through two Bell penalties, the young fly-half punishing home indiscipline to bring his team back to within a point after 24 minutes.
The Blues still appeared to be slightly in the ascendancy but the visitors racked up their first try with five minutes remaining in the half through Daly.
After some great work by No.8 Billy Vunipola, Daly showed his raw pace to streak through a gap and give Wasps the lead for the first time.
There was still time for Wasps to add another penalty before the break through Bell, to go in 14-7 up at half-time.
Early in the second half the Blues moved back to within four points with another Davies penalty, but the young fly-half then missed his next shot at goal, wasting the chance to edge the home side closer.
He was replaced by Sweeney soon after but it was Wasps who scored next, another penalty from Bell after 56 minutes stretching the lead to 17-10.
But just as Wasps looked like they were taking control the Blues hit back through electric winger James who raced over to bring his side back into it. Sweeney missed the conversion and the chance to level the scores.
With ten minutes remaining the visitors appeared to be holding on but Sweeney then spotted a gap in the Wasps defence to sneak over. He added the conversion to extend the home side’s lead to five points.
Wasps poured forward in search of a try which would earn them at least a draw but the Blues held out for an important win ahead of next week’s trip to the Scarlets.