Kirwan opts for successful formula

Fri, 22 Mar 2013 05:30
Large john kirwan blues looks Large peter saili blues Large kirwan looks630 Large chrisnoakeshurricanes

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)

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 06 May 2016
Crusaders v Reds 07h35 Christchurch
Brumbies v Bulls 09h40 Canberra
Griffons v Eagles 15h00 Welkom
EP Kings v Blue Bulls 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Sat, 07 May 2016
Sunwolves v Force 05h15 Tokyo
Chiefs v Highlanders 07h35 Hamilton
Waratahs v Cheetahs 09h40 Sydney
Leopards v Boland 12h30 Potchefstroom
Griquas v Border 13h00 Kimberley
Sharks v Hurricanes 13h00 Durban
Pumas v Namibia 13h00 Mpumalanga
Golden Lions v Free State Cheetahs 13h00 Randburg
Wasps v London Irish 14h30 Ricoh Arena
Worcester Warriors v Saracens 14h30 Sixways
Bath v Leicester Tigers 14h30 Recreation Ground
Gloucester v Northampton Saints 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Exeter Chiefs 14h30 Twickenham
Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks 14h30 Kingston Park
Zebre v Dragons 15h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Munster v Scarlets 15h00 Thomond Park
Ospreys v Ulster 15h00 Liberty Stadium
Connacht v Glasgow Warriors 15h00 Sportsground
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 15h00 BT Murrayfield
Leinster v Treviso 15h00 RDS
Kings v Blues 15h05 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Western Province 15h30 Durban
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 9 5 0 4 23
Brumbies 9 5 0 4 21
Waratahs 8 4 0 4 21
Reds 9 2 1 6 12
Force 9 1 0 8 6
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 9 8 0 1 37
Crusaders 8 7 0 1 32
Hurricanes 9 6 0 3 31
Highlanders 9 6 0 3 28
Blues 8 4 1 3 20
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 9 6 0 3 29
Bulls 8 6 1 1 28
Cheetahs 9 2 0 7 12
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 6 0 3 27
Sharks 9 4 1 4 23
Jaguares 8 1 0 7 7
Kings 7 1 0 6 4