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Umaga : Blues must adapt to referees better

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Blues coach Tana Umaga says that his players must learn to adapt to referees as more clinical teams than the Jaguares will punish them.

The Blues conceded six first half penalties in their 24-16 victory over the Jaguares at at North Harbour Stadium but Umaga knows more experienced teams would have hurt his team.

“We’ve shown we have a lot of heart in our group and they know how to hang in there in games but it would be good if we didn’t have to go through the rigmarole of giving away penalties and getting stuck in our corner for so long,” Umaga told the NZ Herald.

“We’ve got to adapt to the referee. He did say he’ll be strong at the start and he was.”

“That’s a learning curve for our guys, understanding that sometimes it looks like we can hang in there and try to steal the ball back, just let it go and trust our systems.”

“We got our first touch of the ball I think in the 18th minute when we got a penalty. It’s a long time defending and it takes a lot of fuel out of them.”

The Blues victory over the Jaguares was their second this season but with a match against the Chiefs ahead next week they will have to be more disciplined.

On the positive side the Blues defensive effort was pleasing for Umaga as at one stage the Jaguares had almost 80 percent possession but they only conceded one try.

“In past games we probably would have given away a lot more points than we did,” Umaga said.

“Our defence is something we have been working hard on. We knew the Argentine side would come to play. They chanced their arm and don’t hold back and I thought we handled that well.”

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