Blues

Nucifora proud of his skipper

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Blues coach David Nucifora, in the eyes of many, took a big risk when he named Troy Flavell as his captain following the notoriously ill-disciplined All Black’s return to New Zealand rugby this year.


But Nucifora has been rewarded as Flavell has led the Blues to the top of the log.


“Troy is doing a outstanding job as captain for us,” Nucifora told Xtra Rugby.


“We are five rounds into it and this guy keeps backing up with outstanding performances and the players keep following him. He deserves a huge rap I think.”


Nucifora is also certain that he is not the only one noticing the hardman’s performances. The Blues coach believes his skipper will be due for a return to the international arena.


“There’s only one place he can go from here if he keeps playing like that.


“What I’ve been most impressed with Troy’s performances is that he’s to totally focused on what we are doing to get this team to work.


“He knows that if this team does his does its job well and he plays well every week, it’s hard to be ignored when other things come up down the track.


“The consistent effort will be rewarded, I think.”


Flavell says he is enjoying the captaincy, noting that “everyone is contributing at training and on the field – it makes my job easy”.


He is also enjoying the high-paced style of Blues rugby, a style that is reaping dividends for the Auckland side.


“I’m totally shattered – in the second half it was quite open and we started playing expansive rugby. I had a good time, I managed to get the ball in hand and started to run.”


Meanwhile, Nucifora is pleased with his side’s ability to patiently wait for the scoring opportunities to come in the second half.


“We always anticipated it was going to be a hard fought battle – they never roll over or give you your points easy as they proved in that first half when they defended very well and held us up over the line a couple of times and bundled us into touch a couple of times,” said Nucifora.


“But we managed to hold our game together and we were pleased with or second half, our attack came to the fore.


“I was also very happy with our defence. I was happy with our scrum and also very happy with our lineout against what I consider to be one of the better line-outs in the competition as well.”


Nucifora also believes they left the bonus point on the field.


“We should have taken other opportunities,” he said.


“We should have converted at least one of those opportunities in the first half. But it was a solid win.”


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