Kirwan not ready to hit panic button

Wed, 19 Feb 2014 09:14
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The Blues may have had a horror run in their Super Rugby pre-season build-up, but coach John Kirwan is nowhere near ready to hit the panic button.

The Blues may have had a horror run in their Super Rugby pre-season build-up, but coach John Kirwan is nowhere near ready to hit the panic button.

Kirwan's men, with new Rugby League recruit Benji Marshall running the show from flyhalf, lost all three of their pre-season hit-outs.

A frustrated Kirwan lamented his team's poor individual skill, after the Blues sunk to a disappointing 19-43 loss to the Chiefs in Rotorua last Friday. The Blues also suffered a 12-33 defeat against the Waratahs and a 35-3 loss to the Hurricanes.

However, Kirwan remained upbeat as the team prepares for the first competition match - a Round Two outing against the Highlanders in Dunedin on Saturday.

"Not at all, I'm really confident in what we're doing," he said, when asked if it was time to panic.

"Take 10 handling errors out [of the loss to the Chiefs] and she's a different game of football, we just need to make sure the players take their responsibility and each of those guys who turned over the ball need to take a good look at themselves this next week.

"You've got to be accurate at this level and it's tough competition so if you don't execute you're going to get punished."

Kirwan said his side had huge improvement in them ahead of their game against the Highlanders.

"I think we've got 100 percent improvement in us.

"We're waiting for the season and we need to get through now and execute properly so it's a big week for us next week and we just need to be confident and have a go."

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