Kirwan takes blame for loss

Mon, 11 Mar 2013 07:56
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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

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Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 8 5 0 3 23
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10