'Easy' selections for Kirwan

Wed, 27 Feb 2013 06:17
Large john kirwan   graham henry2 Large ali williams hands stretche Large john kirwan   graham henry

Blues head coach John Kirwan has named an unchanged line-up for Friday's Super Rugby Round Three clash with the Crusaders at Eden Park.

Blues head coach John Kirwan has named an unchanged line-up for Friday's Super Rugby Round Three clash with the Crusaders at Eden Park.

Kirwan has rewarded his troops for an impressive first-up performance against the Hurricanes by keeping the same starting XV and bench, and said it was a pretty simple decision.

"After the performance last week the guys can go around again so it was pretty easy," Kirwan said.

Kirwan, who played many matches for Auckland against Canterbury during his playing career, said games didn't come much bigger than a Blues versus Crusaders north-south derby.

"As games go, this is just under a Test match. Blues versus Crusaders is the game of the season so you've got to be ready for it because it should be. For us it's like a local derby."

While the Blues may have surprised many pundits by overcoming the Hurricanes last week, Kirwan knows they are going to have to step things up another gear at Eden Park on Friday if they are to trouble the Red-and-Blacks.

"They're the favourites; they're talking about winning the Championship. I've been reading some articles and listening to the media and they're installed as favourites, as they should be.

"They're a great football side and we've really got to be on our game."

Kirwan urged fans to turn up to Eden Park on Friday to cheer on his side in the first home game of the season.

"We need the public support; we need everything we can get this week. I just want the public to be excited and to turn up and support us. We need that 16th man for sure."

Blues: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Rene Ranger, 12 Francis Saili, 11 George Moala, 10 Chris Noakes, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Ali Williams (captain), 4 Culum Retallick, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons, 1 Tom McCartney.
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Angus Ta'avao, 18 Liaki Moli, 19 Brendon O'Connor, 20 Bryn Hall, 21 Baden Kerr, 22 Jackson Willison.

Date: Friday, March 1
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 19.30 (06.30 GMT)
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Jonathon White (New Zealand), Sheldon Eden-Whaitiri (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sun, 26 June 2016
Canada v Italy 16h00 Toronto
Fri, 01 July 2016
Chiefs v Crusaders 07h35 Hamilton
Brumbies v Reds 09h40 Canberra
EP Kings v Griquas 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Blue Bulls v Boland 17h00 Loftus Versfeld
Sat, 02 July 2016
Jaguares v Blues 22h00 Buenos Aires
Sunwolves v Waratahs 05h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Blues 07h35 Wellington
Rebels v Stormers 09h40 Melbourne
Free State Cheetahs v Falcons 10h05 Bloemfontein
Golden Lions v Griffons 12h05 Johannesburg
Cheetahs v Force 13h00 Bloemfontein
Western Province v Eagles 13h00 Newlands
Namibia v Border 13h00 Windhoek
Sharks v Leopards 15h00 Durban
Kings v Highlanders 15h05 Port Elizabeth
Lions v Sharks 17h10 Johannesburg
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 8 0 4 34
Waratahs 12 7 0 5 34
Rebels 11 6 0 5 27
Reds 13 3 1 9 16
Force 12 2 0 10 12
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 10 0 2 45
Chiefs 12 9 0 3 42
Hurricanes 12 8 0 4 40
Highlanders 12 8 0 4 38
Blues 12 6 1 5 30
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 1 4 36
Bulls 12 7 1 4 32
Cheetahs 12 3 0 9 17
Sunwolves 11 1 1 9 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 9 0 3 42
Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
Jaguares 12 2 0 10 14
Kings 12 2 0 10 9