Blues

Nucifora looks past score-line

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Blues coach David Nucifora has not let the loss by one point to the Hurricanes dampen the spirit in his camp. In fact, he believes it was their best performance so far.


Highlighting how crucial the decision-making of the referee is in this the most evenly-contested Super rugby season yet, Nucifora said that analysis had shown his side made vast improvements last weekend, despite garnering their first defeat of the season.


“When we went through the game in detail, it was a far better performance than what I thought it was when I initially looked at it live,” Nucifora told Sportal.co.nz.


“There were some really, really good pieces and passages of play that we put together and there were facets of our game that were stronger than they have been in the two games we have won.


“That was pleasing.”


But Nucifora has joined that ever increasing school of thought which suggests the refereeing in the 2007 Super 14 has not been satisfactory.


“We were a bit frustrated with the referee at times so we felt we probably didn’t get the best end of that deal,” Nucifora added.


“I can only speak for our games but I think it is frustrating and disappointing when things are missed that have obvious effects on outcomes.


“They gave away two penalties in the last 40 minutes, the Brumbies didn’t give away one in the first 50 minutes and I do find that a little difficult.”


But Nucifora is philosophical concerning those decisions he felt had not gone his side’s way.


“We’ve got to look at our performance and some of the things we didn’t do as well as we should have and we have got to be far enough ahead to not let those things [refereeing decisions] effect outcomes,” he said.


The aspects of play that Nucifora believes enjoyed improvement are the set pieces of the Blues. Saturday, he says, gave the Auckland-based side “the best result we have had all year” in the primary phases.


“Our lineout was over 80 percent of quality, our scrum was over 80 percent of quality, which we have previously got nowhere near and we disrupted their scrum 40 percent of the time so all those platform issues were the best results we have had.


“The breakdown and the carry error was probably not our best. They muscled up on us and they managed to slow our ball down.”


The Blues slipped from the top of the log as a result of their loss, but they will be preparing to turn things around when they take on the Reds in Auckland on Saturday.


365 Digital

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