Kirwan opts for successful formula

Fri, 22 Mar 2013 05:30
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Blues head coach Sir John Kirwan has restored his successful combinations for Sunday's clash with the Waratahs in Sydney.

Blues head coach John Kirwan has restored his successful combinations for Sunday's clash with the Waratahs in Sydney.

After rolling the changes and losing to the Bulls before the bye, Kirwan has reverted to the tried and tested formula that saw the Blues defeat the Hurricanes and Crusaders in the opening two rounds of the Super Rugby competition.

Chris Noakes takes the reigns at flyhalf, while George Moala, Peter Saili, Culum Retallick, James Parsons and Tom McCartney all return to the starting XV.

On the bench, Anthony Boric is poised to make his first appearance in more than a year after surgery on his neck kept him sidelined, while scrumhalf Jamison Gibson-Park maintains his position in the matchday 22 in place of Bryn Hall.

"We've got this idea of making sure we continue to create a full squad. The loss certainly influenced what we do going forward so it's back to the guys that have been proven for us," Kirwan said.

"We've kept Jamo [Jamison Gibson-Park] on the bench because we thought he came on and brought us a different look from scrumhalf but if we were a few weeks down the track and we'd got a few more wins then we'd probably look at trying to involve more guys just because if we don't and some injuries happen down the track we're going to be under the pump."

After three hit-outs for the Blues development team, Kirwan said Boric was both physically and mentally ready to get stuck in against the Waratahs.

"We've picked him because he's stopped mentally processing. He's had those three development games and in the first game he was thinking about his neck and doing things that he might not normally do, but he's progressively got better so he's in the side because he'll go on and won't think about it anymore. We're pleased to have him back."

Kirwan is under no illusions as to how difficult Sunday's showdown with the under-siege Waratahs will be.

"I think they'll play their best game of rugby. They're under the pump, they're desperate, they've got a coach who's saying 'this is a war' and they've got a good enough football team to beat anyone so if we're not ready for that sort of intensity then we're going to lose. I reckon it's a huge test for both teams."

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, 4 Culum Retallick, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons, 1 Tom McCartney.
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Angus Ta'avao, 18 Anthony Boric, 19 Brendon O'Connor, 20 Jamison Gibson-Park, 21 Baden Kerr, 22 Jackson Willison.

Date: Sunday, March 24
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 16.05 (05.05 GMT)
Referee: Francisco Pastrana (Argentina)
Assistant referees: Steve Walsh (Australia), Will Houston (Australia)
TMO: Peter Marshall (Australia)

Sunwolves vs Hurricanes
sast: 06h15 | local: 13h15

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 25 February 2017
Crusaders v Brumbies 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Force 08h45 Allianz Park
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Cheetahs v Lions 13h05 Bloemfontein
Scotland v Wales 14h25 BT Murrayfield
Kings v Jaguares 15h15 Port Elizabeth
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
Fri, 03 March 2017
Chiefs v Blues 06h35 Hamilton
Edinburgh v Ospreys 19h35 Myreside
Ulster v Treviso 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Connacht v Zebre 19h35 Ascoli Piceno
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 20h15 AJ Bell Stadium
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 24 February 2017
Munster v Scarlets 21 | 30
Dragons v Leinster 22 | 54
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 17 | 18
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 18 | 27
Reds v Sharks 28 | 26
Highlanders v Chiefs 15 | 24
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 18 | 56
Tue, 21 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 13 | 22
Mon, 20 February 2017
UJ v UP-Tuks 18 | 11
Maties v NMMU-Madibaz 35 | 16
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16 | 10
NWU-Pukke v UCT-Ikeys 20 | 15
TUT v WSU 13 | 17
UWC v Rhodes 88 | 8
Sun, 19 February 2017
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 46 | 31
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Reds 1 1 0 0 4
Brumbies 0 0 0 0 0
Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0
Force 0 0 0 0 0
Rebels 1 0 0 1 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Blues 1 1 0 0 5
Chiefs 1 1 0 0 5
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Crusaders 0 0 0 0 0
Highlanders 1 0 0 1 0
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 0 0 0 0 0
Bulls 0 0 0 0 0
Cheetahs 0 0 0 0 0
Sunwolves 0 0 0 0 0
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 1 0 0 1 1
Lions 0 0 0 0 0
Jaguares 0 0 0 0 0
Kings 0 0 0 0 0