'He's a level headed gentleman' – Tana Umaga praises Bryn Gatland despite Blues' loss

Blues coach Tana Umaga is praising the performance of young first-five Bryn Gatland, following his side's 41-34 loss to the Highlanders in Dunedin last night.

Gatland, 22, started in the number 10 jersey in the Blues' season opener, with both Otere Black and Stephen Perofeta injured.

The youngster shone in his side's loss, earning the respect of his coach after the match.

"I thought he was outstanding," Umaga said.

"He really stepped up - obviously there's a lot of expectation in that position at our club and our region."

"He's a level headed gentlemen, he knows how to live with expectation throughout his whole life."

"I thought he did really well, now the test for him is consistency - to back up week after week because again, you'd have to say he's earned the right to go again."

The Blues' first-five was outstanding in his side's loss to the Highlanders. Source: 1 NEWS