Blues coach Tana Umaga hailed his side's courage under fire after the Super Rugby cellar dwellers continued New Zealand's trans-Tasman dominance with a spirited 24-21 win over the NSW Waratahs.
Entering Saturday night's match with just two wins from nine in 2018, the beleaguered Blues had been branded a "broken, bumbling mess" in a New Zealand newspaper.
But they still upstaged Australia's conference leaders in enemy territory despite the Waratahs enjoying 72 per cent of territory and the lion's share of possession at Brookvale Oval.
"Very pleasing for us. Whatever you want to call it: grit, heart, resilience, we had everything in there," Umaga said.
"There's been some tough times for us to get some results. It's good to get this one."
The Blues' backs-to-the-wall victory made it made it 38 consecutive Super Rugby wins for New Zealand teams against their trans-Tasman rivals.
But Umaga and captain Augustine Pulu insisted the Blues - with their "own issues" - hadn't been motivated by a determination not to be the first Kiwi team since the Chiefs succumbed to the Waratahs on May 27, 2016 to succumb to Australian opposition.
"That wasn't a factor in our heads throughout the week. We always talk about the inner belief in our circle and that's all that matters," Pulu said.
"Everyone's got their own thoughts, their own thinking on all that kind of stuff. We just have to stay focused, stay tight in our circle because we're the only ones who can change it. No one else can."
Umaga was especially pleased for debutant winger Caleb Clarke, who excelled up against his hero Israel Folau, and the other rookies in the Blues backline.
"He's only 18 or 19 now. He's going up against his idol, really, and I thought he did well against him. He really stood up," Umaga said.
"There's probably some young guys out there that you haven't heard of but Orbyn Leger, Tumua Manu, I thought they took care of those guys who are big threats, those international players.
"These guys have played Mitre 10 Cup. They haven't played a lot.
"I'm just really proud of these guys."
He also heaped praise on returning leaders Jerome Kaino, Patrick Tuipulotu and Pulu.
"When a team's battling especially, you've got to rely on your experienced players," Umaga said.
"These guys have been injured and it's been tough for them and the positive thing for us is that they've worked their butts off to get back early, earlier than they should.
"And you can just see how much it meant to them, especially in the moments.
"These guys stood up."