Blues

Blues owe Brumbies a big ‘thank you’

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The table-topping Blues readily acknowledge that they owe the Brumbies a big “thank you” , after the two-time Super champions ended the Sharks’ unbeaten run in Durban last week.

The Brumbies’ 21-10 victory – apart from the obvious fact that it saw the Blues retain first place on the standings – also put the Auckland-based franchise in pole position for home ground advantage in the play-offs.

Obviously the Blues have to keep on winning themselves, but having a bit of breathing space at the top of the standings doers help.

Blues captain Troy Flavell said his side owed the Brumbies a heap of gratitude.

“I was surprised at the Sharks’ loss, obviously it is good for us at the top of the table,” Flavell told sportal.co.nz.

“We’ve got to take our hats off to the Brumbies, they have done us some favours there.

“The Sharks probably got beaten at their own game I think. The Brumbies were confrontational and physical with them and that what the Sharks have been renowned for.”

The Blues said the key for his team is to ensure they keep raising the bar to stay ahead of the chasing pack – starting with their Round Nine game against the Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday.

The game at Waikato Stadium is shaping as one of the more intriguing encounters, after Blues coach David Nucifora hinted at a possible Chiefs ambush – with rival coach Ian Foster having rested some key players against the Reds last week.

Flavell said the side had talked about issues that tend to come up with Chiefs games and why the Blues hadn’t been successful for the past couple of seasons.

“There are things we’ve rectified and that we are building on from week to week,” he said.

“We’ll be concentrating on our team focus rather than some of the one-on-one battles that have occurred in the past,” he added.

However, the key for the Blues now is to remain focused on their own ambitions and not to change what has been a successful formula.

“The Chiefs have come back from a few losses. I think their forwards are starting to go really well now.

“They’re physical, a very physical side, and that is one element of their game that we are going to put a lot of focus on this week.

“They’re getting a little bit of that unity that most teams desire, and I think they are finding that now,” he said.

 

365 Digital

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