Kirwan takes blame for loss

Mon, 11 Mar 2013 07:56
Large john kirwan blues looks Large pierre spies v blues Large john kirwan   graham henry2 Large blues v bulls3 Large blues fans Large john kirwan   graham henry Large blues v bulls2

Blues head coach John Kirwan was quick to take responsibility for what he labelled the "worst performance" of the season.

Blues head coach John Kirwan was quick to take responsibility for what he labelled the "worst performance" of the season as the Blues sunk to a 21-28 loss to the Bulls at Eden Park Sunday.

It was an error-ridden outing from Kirwan's troops as they suffered their first defeat of the season, but the Blues mentor held his hand up to take the blame and said poor preparation cost his side.

"Consistency of performance is about consistency of preparation and I'll take responsibility for that," Kirwan said.

"We made some changes and I think we didn't train as well as we could have all week so I'll cop that on the chin."

Kirwan made six changes to the starting XV from the side that defeated both the Hurricanes and Crusaders in the previous two rounds, and he said in retrospect it may have backfired.

"I don't regret the decision but I think it may have had some influence - it's always easy in hindsight. I don't regret doing it but it could have had an impact on how we performed.

"I think it was a team thing. Everyone was five percent off and we need to take a really good look at how we're individually preparing for these games because consistency of preparation gives you consistency of performance.

"At this level it's OK if one or two guys have an off day but I didn't think there were the energy levels out there or the commitment to the game plan that we want to play.

"The most important thing for me is it needs to be a learning  I've certainly learned from it and it's important that the team learns that if we're going to play badly we need to play badly within our structures and if we can learn that from today it will be the best thing to happen for us."

Captain Ali Williams said the blame couldn't be apportioned to the coaching staff and said the players had to take responsibility for their lacklustre efforts.

"We're a team that plays with the ball and stretches the defence and we resorted to playing their style of football which they're the best in the world at.

"We weren't great at the simple things and it cost us. I felt we lacked some real spark and that can't come from the coaching staff, that comes from within individually. I'm pretty pissed off at how we played."

However it's not all doom and gloom for the Blues. They did manage to salvage one bonus point and with the Chiefs, Highlanders and Crusaders all losing on the same weekend, they haven't lost any ground on the New Zealand conference ladder.

"We'd prefer to be sitting here with four or five points but I think with 11 points after the first three rounds we can sit back and say not mission accomplished but a pretty good start," Kirwan said.

"We want to refresh the guys up then we need to get the excitement back. There wasn't any excitement out there today and I'm really disappointed for the fans and the people that are supporting us because there wasn't a lot of spark so we need to go away and then regroup and get over to the Waratahs and really explode."

The Blues have the week off to refresh with the bye, before heading over to Sydney to take on the Waratahs on Sunday, March 24.

With thanks to Blues media unit

Highlanders vs Crusaders
sast: 08h35 | local: 19h35

  • 0 | 0
Sat, 17 March 2018
Brumbies v Sharks 08h45 Canberra
Italy v Scotland 12h30 Rome
Stormers v Blues 13h05 Newlands
England v Ireland 14h45 Twickenham Stadium
Lions v Sunwolves 15h15 Johannesburg
Wales v France 17h00 Cardiff
Jaguares v Reds 21h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 05h05 Sydney
Fri, 23 March 2018
Connacht v Edinburgh 22h00 Sportsground
Munster v Scarlets 22h00 Thomond Park
Dragons v Cheetahs 22h00 Rodney Parade
Ospreys v Leinster 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 22h00 Scotstoun
Kings v Treviso 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Fri, 16 March 2018
Edinburgh v Munster 12 | 6
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 31 | 25
Chiefs v Bulls 41 | 28
Sun, 11 March 2018
Wales v Italy 38 | 14
Sat, 10 March 2018
Jaguares v Waratahs 38 | 28
France v England 22 | 16
Lions v Blues 35 | 38
Ireland v Scotland 28 | 8
Sharks v Sunwolves 50 | 22
Reds v Bulls 20 | 14
Hurricanes v Crusaders 29 | 19
Fri, 09 March 2018
Scarlets v Leinster 10 | 10
Rebels v Brumbies 33 | 10
Highlanders v Stormers 33 | 15
Mon, 05 March 2018
Maties v UCT-Ikeys 38 | 14
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 3 3 0 0 15
Reds 3 2 0 1 8
Waratahs 3 1 1 1 6
Brumbies 3 1 0 2 4
Sunwolves 3 0 0 3 1
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 3 1 0 2 10
Crusaders 3 2 0 1 10
Highlanders 2 2 0 0 9
Blues 3 1 0 2 6
Chiefs 3 2 0 1 8
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 4 3 0 1 15
Sharks 3 1 1 1 8
Bulls 4 1 0 3 5
Stormers 4 1 0 3 5
Jaguares 4 1 0 3 4