Blues coaches to 'earn their money'

Wed, 01 May 2013 11:11
Large john kirwan blues looks Large john kirwan   graham henry

Blues boss John Kirwan feels the coaching staff will earn their money this week, as they prepare for their encounter with the Stormers on Friday.

Blues boss John Kirwan feels the coaching staff will earn their money this week, as they prepare for their Round 12 encounter with the Stormers at Albany on Friday.

Kirwan, speaking in the build-up to the encounter at the North Harbour Stadium, admitted the Stormers will be in a confident frame of mind after they beat the Hurricanes last weekend.

"Their [Stormers] strengths are they're very physical," Kirwan said.

"They great at mauling the ball and strangling you with a good kicking game and good pressure so we're expecting them to bring that," the Blues coach said.

The Stormers are also renowned for their defensive capabilities and Kirwan is well aware of this.

"They’re also very good on defence so the attack coach is going to have to earn his money this week.

"We need to be up for them physically," Kirwan added cautiously.

The Blues and the Stormers both played tough matches over the past weekend but Kirwan knows that the side from Cape Town will throw absolutely everything at them.

"Obviously they’re very good mauling and around the breakdown.

"The [South] African sides throw different stuff at us so we just need to be ready for that," Kirwan mentioned.

It has not been a smooth build-up for the Auckland-based franchise and they are looking a bit worse for wear.

With a few players down with the flu and Rene Ranger on a drip the Blues could not have picked a worse time to have players spending time on the sidelines.

"It is Week 12, so we knew people would be tired.

"Most of the guys that are hurt or are sick have played the biggest numbers," coach John Kirwan mentioned.

A player that has been involved in all of the Blues games this season is Charles Piutau - who has been hit by a bout of flu.

"Charles [Piutau] has played every minute of every game and has done every training run so we expected this.

"It's mid-competition and we have to be careful about how much work we do on the training field," Kirwan added.

The return of Kevin Mealamu will be a welcome boost for the Blues this weekend and they will look to his physicality to set the tone against the Stormers.

"Part of the plan is for him [Mealamu] to get back into it and now is a good time.

"He’s been on the bench three weekends and he’s ready to go. JP’s [James Parsons] been fantastic for us and Kev [Mealamu] will step up this week," the coach explained.

Source: Blues Rugby

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Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28