Blues bullish about points in SA
Fri, 28 Feb 2014 14:15
Blues coach John Kirwan feels his team could collect some valuable points on their two-match tour of South Africa.
Speaking after their impressive 35-24 come-from-behind win over the Crusaders in Auckland on Friday, Kirwan said a little more "consistency" from his team can reap them rich rewards on the trip to the Republic.
While there will be a need for some "recovery", following the bruising encounter at Eden Park, Kirwan is confident of scoring at least one win in the encounters with the Bulls and Lions.
He said they have a "good understanding" of how they are going to play on tour.
"If we come home with some more points it would be very important and if we could get back to the [encounter with the] Cheetahs [in Auckland on March 22] with 10 or 12 points with the South African trip over, then you are in pretty good shape," Kirwan said.
The Blues mentor was delighted with the young guns in his side, all of them barely out of their teens.
Wing Tevita Li scored a fine try, and was denied another length of the field intercept try due to an off-side ruling, lock Patrick Tuipulotu had been solid while producing some critical moments, while rookie flyhalf Simon Hickey had been outstanding.
"We got a bit of a spring in our step, and the energy, after half-time was great," he said.
Kirwan was mindful that Hickey needed to be looked after because he was a young athlete and he shouldn't be over-used.
"But I thought he played with a maturity ahead of his years. I think beside the physical and mental pressure of playing week-in and week-out which we need to be aware of we need to treat him like we did, like any other player," he said.
Kirwan said the win was just that, one win. Last week was a loss and it is only round two.
"We've got a whole lot of hard work ahead of us and still got plenty to do. It's important this young team keeps building and we want to achieve for everyone in this franchise lofty heights," he said.
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