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John Kirwan slams his Blues for switching off

Blues coach Sir John Kirwan is not happy after they let the game slip

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Article Published: Monday 25 March 2013|

Blues coach Sir John Kirwan has slammed his players after they let the game slip away from them against the Waratahs.

The Blues were leading the Waratahs 10-24 in Sydney on Sunday but allowed the hosts to steal the match 30-27.

"We should have turned that game off at halftime - instead that's what we did," coach John Kirwan told the NZHerald.

Kirwan's Blues started the season with impressive victories over the Hurricanes and Crusaders but have slipped to back-to-back losses against the Bulls and Waratahs.

Kirwan was mostly concerned by his team's mistake rate and his coaching staff detailed at least 30 gaffes involving turnovers, missed tackles and penalty concessions in their Sydney debrief.

The Blues were also exasperated by referee Francisco Pastrana's rulings in the match but especially at the ruck.

"We did not know what was going on there so at halftime we told our guys to clean it up, hang on to the ball, be steady and play field position," Kirwan said.

"We were average up until halftime yet we led 24-10."

"But then we couldn't string three phases together, we made handling errors and I don't know why. We lost the football game.

"We did not have the ability to recognise the winning moments."

Blues pivot Chris Noakes levelled the scores with 10 minutes left on the clock and after Waratahs five-eighths Bernard Foley missed a dropped goal attempt the Blues should have held on for the draw but they infringed at a ruck and Foley slotted the winning penalty.

"The errors were like a disease," said Kirwan.

"We did not have the maturity to know what to do and how to stop it. You cannot win a football game like that with our numbers of errors and indiscipline.

"We let ourselves down and now we have to show some steel against the Chiefs this weekend."

"Our conference games have taken on even more importance."

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